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Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo, by Guillermo Kahlo.jpg
Kahlo in 1932, photographed by her father Guillermo Kahlo
Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón

(1907-07-06)6 July 1907
Died 13 July 1954(1954-07-13) (aged 47)
Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico
Nationality Mexican
Education Self-taught
Known for Painting
Notable work
  • Henry Ford Hospital (1932)
  • My Birth (1932)
  • Self-portrait on the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States (1932)
  • Memory, the Heart (1937)
  • What the Water Gave Me (1938)
  • The Two Fridas (1939)
  • Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940)
  • The Broken Column (1944)
Movement Surrealism, Magic realism
Spouse(s) Diego Rivera
(m. 1929; div. 1939)
(m. 1940)

Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954), usually known as Frida Kahlo, was a Mexican painter. She was known for her surreal and very personal works. She was married to Diego Rivera, who was also a well-known painter.

Guillermo Kahlo - Frida Kahlo, June 15, 1919 - Google Art Project
Frida Kahlo as a child

Frida was born in Coyoacán, Mexico. She had polio that left her disabled when she was 6 years old, and some people think that she may have had spina bifida (a birth defect that affects the development of part of the spine) as well.

She studied medicine and planned to become a doctor.

When Frida was 18, she was in a traffic accident that badly injured her. She had periods of severe pain for the rest of her life. After this accident, Kahlo stopped her medical studies and took up painting. She used ideas about things that had happened to her. Frida had strong feelings about not being able to have children, and her feelings were reflected in her paintings. They are often shocking in the way they show pain and the harsh lives of women.

Fifty-five of her 143 paintings are of herself (self-portraits). She was also influenced by native Mexican culture. Her paintings were usually made of bright colors, with a mixture of realism and symbolism. Frida's paintings attracted the attention of the artist Diego Rivera, whom she later married.

Kahlo's work is sometimes called "surrealist." She did not want that label to describe her, but she did organize art shows several times with European surrealists. She was known for centering her paintings around women, which made her popular among women in the last decades of the 20th century. Some of her work is seen at the Frida Kahlo Museum, found in her birthplace and home in suburban Mexico City.

Frida Kahlo was a communist. She died of a pulmonary embolism in Coyoacán.

Interesting Facts About Frida Kahlo

  • Frida was born in Mexico, but her father was German.
  • Her name, which was originally spelled "Frieda," means "peace" in German.
  • Frida survived both polio and a bus crash.
  • She married a man with a name even longer than hers. Her husband's full name was Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez.
  • She exaggerated her facial hair in her self-portraits.
  • Because of the bright clothing she wore, she was asked by children, "Where’s the circus?"
  • She was born and died in the same house, called "La Casa Azul" (The Blue House), which is now known as Frida Kahlo Museum.

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