We're going to tell about an iconic hero whose face is emblazoned almost on everything. Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter known for her tragic and turbulent life and her political views and unique physical characteristics, draws attention of art lovers not only with her paintings, but also with her life story. Born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacán, south of Mexico City, the painter Kahlo adopted her date of birth as June 7, 1910, the date when Mexican revolution started.
Frida Kahlo's life is full of misfortunes. The first of these misfortunes was polio, which she suffered at the age of only 6. This is why Frida, whose one leg was crippled due to polio, is called "wooden leg Frida". With a free-spirit and at peace with herself, Frida did not worry about it, and studied at the National Preparatory School, one of the best schools of the time. Her interest and love for art, philosophy and literature became even much stronger in this school.
The painter became schoolmates with Alejandro Gomez Arias, Jose Gomez Robleda, Alfonso Villa, the most prominent names of that time in philosophy. The strong and distinct characteristics of Frida's personality, who had an anarchist spirit, started to form when she joined an anarchist literary group at the school. Haunted by misfortunes, Frida had a terrible traffic accident on September 17, 1925 at the age of only 18.
The bus she boarded on her way from school to home collided with a tram, and an iron handrail impaled her back through her pelvis. This accident leaded her down a dark and painful road with a challenging treatment course. After this accident, she had to live with unbearable pains in her right leg and spine. She had her right leg, which was crippled by polio, amputated due to gangrene in 1954. After 32 surgeries, not only the body of Frida, but also her soul suffered great damage.
One month after the terrible accident, the young painter came out of the hospital and started painting to forget about the difficulties in her life and relieve her pain even a bit. Drawing self-portraits by using her overhead mirror in her bed’s canopy, Frida was happy to paint herself. Her first self-portrait is "Self-Portrait in Velvet Dress" which she painted on canvas in 1926.
Frida Kahlo started walking again in 1927, and got closer with both art and political circles. She built a close friendship with Julia Antonio, the Cuban communist politician, and photographer Tina Modotti, and they attended numerous political platforms together. Frida Kahlo joined the Mexican Communist Party in 1929.
Marriage of Frida Kahlo
Continuing painting that was the focal point of her life, Frida set sail for a romantic affair with Diego Rivera, the famous painter introduced by her friend Tina Modotti. Rivera, also known as "Michelangelo of Mexico", and Frida got married on August 21, 1929. This was Diego Rivera's third and Frida Kahlo's first marriage. Frida painted her second self-portrait in 1929, the year she got married, and broke away from the Communist Party the same year.
A year later, when her husband Diego took orders for murals, she went to the United States and lived there until 1933. In 1931, she painted "Frieda and Diego Rivera", which depicted herself with her husband, and this painting is exhibited in the Annual Exhibition of the San Francisco Society of Women Artists. Frida's marriage was also turbulent like her life. Due to her ongoing health problems, Frida had to have an abortion, and had miscarriages twice.
Frida could not stand the infidelity of her husband, found the solution to break up and divorced with Diego Rivera in 1939. However, a year later, they got married again and started to live in the Blue House, a very special home for Frida. In addition, Frida had a love affair with Leon Trotsky, one of the first names that come to mind when it comes to Russian revolution, while she was married, and broke up with him when Trotsky's wife learned of this affair. Meanwhile, Frida's health was also deteriorating.
Especially the pain hunted her for years became unbearable. But she painted without a single breath, as if she wanted to relieve these pains with brushes and paints. Opening exhibitions in the USA and France apart from her own country, Frida gained reputation actually by the exhibition she opened in New York in 1938. Her students were called "Los Fridos", i.e. Frida's students.
Rejoining the Mexican Communist Party in 1948, Frida was hospitalized for almost a year due to the problems in her spine, which became more apparent in 1950. Frida's joy was overshadowed by amputation of her right leg in July three months after opening a solo exhibition in Mexico City in April 1953, and her joy of life took a severe blow.
The physical and mental pain that Frida Kahlo suffered throughout her life peaked upon diagnosis of pulmonary embolism. This extraordinary painter, whose life was surrounded by pain and sorrow, passed away on July 13, 1954. Died at the age of 47, Frida Kahlo fitted pain, sadness, love, excitement and many works of art in her short life. Frida Kahlo's body was cremated, and her ashes are hidden in the Blue House, which she loved so much.