Frida Kahlo

1907-1954

Early Life

Frida Kahlo was born to Matilde Calderon y Gonzalez and Guillermo Kahlo on July 6, 1907 in Mexico City, Mexico.
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At age 6 she contracted polio and she was bedridden for 9 months, as part of her physical therapy her father made her participate in soccer, swimming, and wrestling. Which at the time was abnormal for a girl to do.


On September 17, 1925 she was traveling on a bus which collided with a street car. A metal handrail impaled her and went through her hip and out the other side. This accident would lead to several surgeries and long periods of bedrest in the future.


Due to the amount of bed rest, she would paint self portraits to past the time, Diego Rivera, a Mexican mural painter, was in town at the time and she showed him her art for advice. He told her she had talent and shortly after they started a relationship. They got married a year later.

Since her dad had her do sports, it led to her being more "tomboyish", she didn't think that because she was a girl she had to dress or act like one, she dressed and acted however she felt.


During the months of bedrest from her accident, she taught herself how to paint, she had a mirror put onto her ceiling and a specially made easel to paint while in bed. She would also paint on her full body cast to decorate it. Her accident inspired most of her paintings. Due to her accident she had many miscarriages and would express those in her art. She would show the mental/physical pain she was experiencing through the imagery in her paintings.


Frida and Diego's marriage was messy, they would constantly cheat on each other. At one point they both had two separate houses right next to each other that were only connected by a bridge. They befriended Leon Trotsky, who was a big icon in the communist party, he fled Norway and came to Mexico to live with them for protection. Frida and Trotsky had an affair and Trotsky and his wife ended up leaving only to be assassinated soon after.

She had a visual impact on the world with her art. Her art was very inspiring and original. She was a large feminist icon. She believed in women being strong and was against women stereotypes. This was represented in her art, fashion style, and personality. She was inspirational, she had several health problems but she was still strong anyway.


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A few days before she died on July 13, 1954, she wrote in her diary: " I hope the exit is joyful - and I hope to never return - Frida." The official cause of death was pulmonary embolism, although some people believe she died from an overdose that may or may not have been accidental.