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Frida Kahlo Essay

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Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo's life was one marked by extreme suffering, extreme
heroism, and extreme genius. Stricken with polio as a child then
nearly crippled in a bus accident at the age of eighteen, Kahlo defied
the odds not only by learnng to walk again (twice) but by taking the
world by storm with her unique artistic vision.

Frida Kahlo was born July 6, 1907 near Mexico City. However, she
always claimed to be born in the year of the Mexican Revolution, 1910,
in order to link her own birth to that of modern Mexico. It was just
one of the many half-truths Kahlo told about her life, some say, in
order to create a myth through which she would always be remembered.

The desire to be remembered was always a central theme of Kahlo's art,
as reflected in the many self-portraits she painted (the images for
which she is best known). Once she embroidered a pillow for her
husband, the muralist Diego Rivera, which read, "Remember me, my
love."

Kahlo's obsession with mortality is no mystery as illness, severe pain
and the threat of death repeatedly imposed themselves on her young
life. At age six, Kahlo contracted polio and had to spend 9 months
confined to her room. During that time, she created an imaginary
friend who would later be reflected in a painting called "The Two
Fridas." Explaining the painting in her diary she wrote, "I
experienced intensely an imaginary friendship with a little girl more
or less the same age as me ... I followed her in all her movements and
while she danced, I told her my secret problems."
Once over the polio, Kahlo seemed determined to live life to the
fullest. She became a tomboy at school and the le...


... middle of paper ...


...e couple
did divorce, in 1939, they reunited in less than a year. For all their
troubles, they remained one another's greatest loves and greatest
fans.

That same year Kahlo suffered another blow. Her right leg had to be
amputated below the knee due to a gangrene infection. On July 13,
1954, at the age of 47, Frida Kahlo died. The cause was never
officially determined. The last entry in Kahlo's diary read, "I hope
the leaving is joyful and I hope never to return."

Little known outside of the art world until the 1990's, Frida Kahlo
has recently become a cultural icon. Numerous books and articles have
been written about her. She has been the subject of three
documentaries, and a feature film about her life was released October
25, 2002. For a woman who wished to be remembered, it seems, her wish
has come true.


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