Monday, November 19, 2012

Yo Soy Frida Kahlo
By: Leslie Fernandez

Frida Kahlo, famous mexican painter, born in Coyoacan on July 6, 1907. She comes from a spanish and jewish background. Her father was a german jew and her mother was spanish and indigenous. Frida Kahlo focused most of her heritage towards her mother's culture. She loved the aspect of the spanish jewelry, clothes, and hairstyles. Regarding to who she was as a person, she was said to be a tremendous person, she says herself, " I always had a hot temper and said what was on my mind. I called a Porqueria a porqueria"(GG 78). Other than that, Frida Kahlo in my opinion is an amazing artist, her painting how so much meaning and life to them.

         Frida Kahlo went through a difficult journey in her lifetime, many of which stemmed from a traffic accident in her young years.Kahlo suffered lifelong health problems, many of which stemmed from a traffic accident in her teenage years. Due to the accident she was injured, resulting in a broken spinal column, broken pelvis, and other numerous of injuries. She had, " thirty-two operations in twenty- nine years and more miscarriages" (GG 78). She could not bare children due to these injuries. Not only did she suffer from injuries but she suffered with her love life with Diego Rivera, a man who played a tremendous role in her life as a lover and as an artist. These issues reflected to many of her paintings since paintings is what fulfilled her ambition. "Kahlo suggested, 'I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.'  She also stated, 'I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.' " (Kahlo 1). 

The Broken Column, 1944
       During her lifetime, she made at least 200 painting, drawings and sketches that related towards her experiences in life. For example, one of her famous works is , The Broken Column. This painting has so much significance to her physical and emotional pain she experience. The aspect of the column and nails signify the pain she went through and as for the larger nail on the left breast, it represents the emotional pain Diego put her through. This painting shows how broken and torn she is among her life experiences of physical and emotional pain. This comes to show how during the 20th century, the movement of surrealism began to grow amongst artist who used images to represent a dream or unconscious thought. Chadwick states how surrealism has, ""haunting complexity and narrative quality disturbing in its ambiguity"(289).


Another one of her painting is My Nurse and I . This painting tells a story about how she was breastfed by a native Indian nurse as a child. Her mother was not able to breast feed her or her sister. How you can tell there is no chemistry between the nurse or Frida, there is no relationship or emotions. It just a random native american breast feeding any child. If it were her mother the painting would have a whole different aspect rather than a distant relationship. This shows that Frida had no bond with her mother as a young child. Not only is the relationship off but even Frida Kahlo's face is painted has a mature adult instead of a baby face. Frida wanted the memory of how she remembered it and draw her face as an adult. As for the nurse she is masked with a pre-Columbian funerary mask because Frida could not depict the nurse's features and prefer to cover it. 

Two Fridas, 1939

"No one will ever know how much I love Diego... if I had health I would give it to him; if I had youth, he could have it all. I am not only his mother, I am the embryo, the seed, the first cell from whose potential he was engendered. I am he, beginning from the most primitive... ancient cells, which over time have become "feeling"
 Frida Kahlo painted many more that had significant meaning to them. Most into had to deal with pain, emotion, lost of childhood, and love life. It was very personal. She painted self-portraits, images that depicted her physical pain endured in her life. Especially painting like Two Fridas and My Birth. The painting of the Two Fridas is to say that its a double self portrait expressing her feeling about the divorce. The one on the left is her unwanted self and the right is her wanted self. It also shows how Frida Kahlo heart and blood flow on the right is normal and on the left is her how her blood stops and shows her pain because of the divorce. 

My Birth, 1932
  As for the painting of My Birth, it depicts how she has had miscarriages and not being able to bare a child of her own. As proven and shown in her work her painting explore her mind and body of it vulnerability. She uses her experiences of pain into her artwork. She was one of the first twentieth century artist was detail childbirth and women's issues. Frida Kahlo is an inspiration women, she is someone who stood in many battlefields and tried to find strength. She is what we call a symbol of female struggle and helps women know that they aren't alone. Frida Kahlo had passed away on July 13th, 1954.

Quote by Frida Kahlo

Nothing is more important than laughter." Laughing and letting go and feeling lighter give one strength. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing "man" has, and I am sure that however much animals "suffer", they never exhibit their "pain" in open "theaters" or "behind doors". Their colors are truer than any image that any man may "represent" as painful.”


Chadwick, Whitney. Women, Art, and Society. New York, NY: Thames and Hudson, 1990. Print.

The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art. New York: Penguin, 1998. Print.

Frida Kahlo, Biography, 2012

Great Paintings by Basso, 2011 

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