Friday, June 17, 2011

Frida Kahlo, our colorful Mexican

Frida!!! How can I start writing about this amazing woman? 

She was born July 6th, of 1907 (Sign: Cancer), in Coyoacan, Mexico, under the name: Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderon

When she was 6, she developed Polio, which made her right leg seem much thinner than the other one. Because of this, Frida would use long skirts and dresses, to disguise. She suffered from various health problems because of the accident that she suffered when she was 18/19 years old. An iron handrail pierced her abdomen and uterus, which left her childless, but full of dolls and pets. She was in bed for a long time, but her parents found a way so that she could PAINT, she had just abandoned the idea of becoming a doctor

Frida always witnessed a lot of violence. During the Mexican Revolution (1910) she was hearing gunfires on her street, in her teenage years she boxed and had dated violent men. She went through more then 35 operations after her accident. So, her work always showed a lot of pain

"I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best."

This sentence describes a lot about her. Out of 143 paintings, 55 were her self-portraits

Her symbol was a monkey - in Mexico, a symbol for LUST. 
Frida was an admirer of Diego Rivera, her soon to-be husband in 1929, and met him to ask him an advice in pursuing an art career, and so they married. It was a troubled marriage, they were both temperamental and has affairs with other people. She was bisexual, (one of the most interesting things I read), which Diego tolerated, but he just couldn't deal with her affairs with other men (i.e. Trotsky). She once had an affair with Josephine Baker, a dancer, actress, and singer. On the other hand, Diego was having an affair with her younger sister, Cristina

"I never painted dreams, I painted my own reality.

Influenced by the Indigenous Mexican Culture she always used bright colors and dramatic symbolism. She became more well-known with the artistic style: NEOMEXICANISMO, before she was just know as "Diego Rivera's Wife".

Before Frida died, she wrote in her journal:

"I hope the exit is joyful - and I hope never to return."

She was born and died in the same place, The Blue House, on July 13th, 1954, when she was 47 years old. Diego said is was the most tragic day of his life, and that he realized that the most wonderful part of his life had been his love for her (realized too late). 

This is one of my favorite pictures of Frida. This was in front of her house, with her pet, smoking her cigarette. She was always using drugs, whether they were painkillers, cigaretts, alcohol, or whatever. Between her friends/family she was known to have a great sense of humor, which you can see in this picture - Can you?

After her use of alcohol with her painkillers, her painting began to change - they were looser, hurried, with a lack of detail. 

Self Portrait with a portrait of Diego on the Breast and Maria Between the Eyebrows

Self Potrait with Stalin

I found something interesting, an explanation of the colors she uses in her art, in her diary.

GREEN: good warm light
MAGENTA: Aztec. Old TLAPALI blood of prickly pear, the brightest and oldest
BROWN: color of mole, leaves becoming earth
YELLOW: madness, sickness, fear (part of the sun and of joy)
COBALT BLUE: electricity and purity love
BLACK: nothing is black - really nothing
LEAF GREEN: leaves, sadness, science; the whole of Germany is this color
GREENISH YELLOW: more madness and mystery, all the ghosts wear clothes of this color, or at least their underwear
DARK GREEN: color of bad advertisements and a good business
NAVY BLUE: distance... also tenderness can be this blue
RED: blood? Well, who knows?

:: Researching this woman was so inspiring. Understanding the story behind all those colors and her unibrow was catalyst. ::

"Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"

"I love your more than my own skin."


  1. Cores de Frida Khalo cores....
    Adorei, ela é demais, eu tenho um livro das roupas dela que é demais!

  2. Was this picutre of her really shot in color and who took this photo of her?

  3. It was for the cover of French Vogue magazine and yes it was taken in color.