Frida Kahlo

Sahil Ashar


Frida Kahlo's work is heavily influenced by Mexican culture and Amerindian culture tradition. This work is often called Naïve art, or folk art. Her work has been described as surrealist and unique.


55 of Frida Kahlo's 140 paintings are self-portraits. She once suggested, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best."

Additionally, post self-portraits of hers show her by herself, isolated, and often in pain. she suffered many lifelong health problems, many of which were a result of a traffic accident she survived as a teenager. Recovering from her injuries isolated her from other people, and this isolation influenced many of her works, along with the volatile marriage she had with her husband, Diego Rivera.


Common themes

  • Pain
  • Isolation
  • Sadness
  • Christianity
  • Judaism

Kahlo, being influenced by Mexican culture was very extensive in her use of bright colors, dramatic symbolism, and primitive style. She often included the symbolic monkey in most of her paintings. In Mexican mythology, monkeys are symbols of lust, but Kahlo portrays them as tender and protective symbols. She combined elements of the classic religious Mexican tradition with surrealist renderings.