(By Dimitra Diamantopoulou, A Class)
Frida Kahlo was a painter, born in one of the suburbs of Mexico city in 1907. However she considered her life birth in 1910, as she wanted to be born the same year as the Mexican rebellion. When Frida was a little girl, the family was extremely poor and it was too hard for them to get by. As a result, Frida had to work in several shops to support the family’s income.
When she was six, she went through a severe illness, and her leg was permanently damaged. Her classmates used to call her “lame Frida” and she was left with indelible traumas about it. So when she was older, she tried to provoke the others, through her weird and distinct style in clothes. After a serious car accident later, she started painting, although until then she had almost no education in this at all. This accident caused her to become isolated and left her with problems about her health for the rest of her life.
Her art can probably be described as surrealism, folk art or naïve art. Mexican rebellion obviously influenced her works. She started painting self-portraits when she was recovering from the accident. She also said «I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.» Her works, influenced by her internal and external traumas, her several miscarriages she had in her wedding, are filled with the emotion of pain. In her life she painted more than 140 works, 55 of them where self portraits.
She developed her own personal style of painting, by combining symbolism, Mexican Christian and Jewish tradition, but by giving to the symbols a distinct meaning. The colors used are bright. She was also greatly influenced by the artists Diego Rivera and André Breton. She fell in love with the first one and they got married.
Frida died in1954, due to a bad health condition, leaving behind her a lot of culture and beauty. Her knee suffered from gangrene and she suffered from bronchopneumonia. The cause of death was acclaimed to be pulmonary embolism, although this may had been done on purpose.