Biography of Frida Kahlo – Political Science Essay
Frida Kahlo was born in 1907 in Coyocan, Mexico to a Jewish immigrant family. Her family basically consisted of her father, Guillermo, her mother, and her sister,
Cristina. Her father was a famous photographer and her mother, Matidle, a strict Catholic, Frida’s father favored her over his other child. When Frida contracted polio at the age of five, Guillermo was the one who devoted his time to helping her try and recover. Even though he went through hours of strenuous exercises with her, she still ended up with a shriveled right leg.
In 1925, Frida was in a horrible bus accident. A trolley car crashed into the bus she was on, sending people flying in every direction. Frida was found with a metal pole protruding from her stomach. At the hospital the doctors discovered that she also had a fractured pelvis, a dislocated shoulder, broken ribs and a shattered leg and foot. The accident would change her life forever. She paints a lot of self-portraits of her looking broken. “I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy as long as I can paint”. “My painting carries with it the message of pain…Painting completed my life…I believe that work is the best thing.”
Frida met her husband, Diego while working on a mural in Mexico City. He was much older than her but they hit it off. They both had communist beliefs. In 1992 Frida (24) and Diego (42) got married in a courthouse in Coyocan. She got pregnant but had an abortion because her body could not handle a pregnancy. She also had many miscarriages over her life. She expressed her pain through her artwork. A lot of it portrays very bloody and gruesome childbirth.
In 1930 the couple went to America. During her time in the states she was overshadowed by Diego’s artwork. People just knew her as his wife that stayed by his side. Frida continued working during this time and even though it never got exposed until recently it was very insightful and deep. A lot of it has Diego somewhere on the canvas. Sometimes he is displayed in her forehead or near her heart. She loved him but resented him a lot too. She expressed both sides. “I suffered two grave accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar knocked me down…..The other accident is Diego.” And “Being the wife of Diego is the most marvelous thing in the world. I let him play matrimony with other women. Diego is not anybody’s husband and never will be, but he is a great comrade.”
They went back to Mexico in 1933. They were not exactly a happily married couple. They both had many affairs. Frida had affairs with famous author Georgia O’Keefe and Leon Trotsky, an exhiled Russian of many others. She was a known bisexual. Frida said ,
“O’Keefe was in the hospital for three months, she went to Bermuda for a rest. She didn’t make love to me that time, I think on account of her weakness. Too bad.” In light of her affair with Georgia O’Keefe.
The last ten years of Frida’s life was more relaxed than the rest. She taught students at an art institute in Mexico. She had newly found medical problems with her spine that put her back in a hospital bed where she continued to paint. In the year 1953 Frida and her hospital bed where transported to the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City. That raised a few eyebrows but Frida liked to get that kind of reaction. That was her first solo art exhibition. Frida Kahlo died in 1957 at the age of 47. Because Frida had tried at suicide and not been successful people rumored that it was a suicide. She had had a very painful life. She underwent over 30 surgeries throughout her lifetime. She last thing she wrote in her diary was “I hope the leaving is joyful and I hope never to return”.
Citation: biography for frida kahlo at the hammond gallery. Retrieved Apr. 06, 2003, http://www.hammondgallery.co.uk.biography.php3?aid+35