“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my reality,” said Frida Kahlo describing her art work (Frida Kahlo n.d.). Kahlo was a Mexican artist from the mid-20th century. She was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacan, Mexico, and the daughter of German and Mexican descendants (Lucie-Smith 1999). During her lifetime Kahlo embarked on many hardships caused by illness, heartache, and love. She became known for her haunting self portraits, radical politics, and that infamous unibrow (Stephen 2008).
The turmoil began early for this young woman. At age six, she was stricken with polio, which left her walking with a limp. From the beginning Kahlo did not intend to become an artist. She was attending school at The Preparatoria (Preparatory) to become a famous doctor (Frida Kahlo n.d.). It was on September 17, 1925 that the most pivotal moment in her life occurred. Kahlo was on her way home from school when she became involved in a tragic bus accident. She was discovered by her boyfriend at the time, Alejandro Gomez Avais. Her slender body had been pierced by a hand rail (Lucie-Smith 1999). Many, including doctors, thought she wouldn’t make it. She proved wrong after surviving various surgeries. For a year she was put in bed to recuperate. The accident left her with a broken back, broken pelvis, and a crushed leg. During her recuperation she taught herself she taught herself to paint by studying Italian Renaissance (Frida Kahlo n.d.). She began painting portraits of family members and still life from her bed.
It was at the Preparatoria where she had met her future husband, Diego Rivera a famous Mexican muralist; it was love at first sight (Stephen 2008). Kahlo would reunite...
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... The feelings you get when you look at art work by Kahlo are strong. A person either hates it from the moment they see it because it’s horrific or you love it because it is such profound work. So much meaning is established in every painting.
Frida Kahlo. http://www.jlhs.nhusd.k12.ca.us/classes/social_science/Latin_America/Frida%20Kahlo/Frida_Kahlo.html (accessed October 6, 2008).
Fuentes, Carlos. "Introduction ." In Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait, 16. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, 2001.
Kahlo, Frida. Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2001.
Lucie-Smith, Edward. Artchive. September 1999. http://www.artchive.com/artchive/K/kahlo.html (accessed October 6, 2008).
Stephen, Katherine. "Frida Kahlo: a full life, fully expressed." Christian Science Monitor, April 11, 2008: 19.
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