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Frida Kahlo: About

Frida Kahlo


Who was Frida Kahlo?

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, pain and passion, and bold, vibrant colors. She is celebrated in Mexico for her attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and by feminists for her depiction of the female experience and form.

Kahlo, who suffered from polio as a child, nearly died in a bus accident as a teenager. She suffered multiple fractures of her spine, collarbone and ribs, a shattered pelvis, broken foot and a dislocated shoulder. She began to focus heavily on painting while recovering in a body cast. In her lifetime, she had 30 operations.

Life experience is a common theme in Kahlo's approximately 200 paintings, sketches and drawings. Her physical and emotional pain are depicted starkly on canvases, as is her turbulent relationship with her husband, fellow artist Diego Rivera, who she married twice. Of her 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits.

Kahlo's first self-portrait was Self-Portrait in a Velvet Dress in 1926. It was painted in the style of 19th Century Mexican portrait painters who themselves were greatly influenced by the European Renaissance masters. She also sometimes drew from the Mexican painters in her use of a background of tied-back drapes. Self-Portrait - Time Flies (1929), Portrait of a Woman in White (1930) and Self-Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky (1937) all bear this background.

Kahlo did not sell many paintings in her lifetime, although she painted occasional portraits on commission. She had only one solo exhibition in Mexico in her lifetime, in 1953, just a year before her death at the age of 47.

Today, her works sell for very high prices. In May 2006, Frida Kahlo self-portrait, Roots, was sold for $5.62 million at a Sotheby's auction in New York, sets a record as the most expensive Latin American work ever purchased at auction, and also makes Frida Kahlo one of the highest-selling woman in art.  Continue reading from Frida Kahlo

From our Collection

Link to The heart Frida Kahlo in Paris by Marc Petitjean in the catalog
Link to Finding Frida Kahlo by Barbara  Levine in the catalog
Link to Frida [DVD] in Hoopla
Link to Frida Kahlo by Luis-Martin Lozano in the catalog
Link to Frida Kahlo's Garden by Frida Kahlo in the catalog
Link to Frida Kahlo in America by Celia Stahr
Link to Women in Art Creatives by Rachel Ignotofsky in the catalog
Link to Frida Kahlo by Matt Doeden in the catalog
Link to Frida Kahlo by Gerry Souter in Hoopla
Link to 	 MoMA now : highlights from the Museum of Modern Art. by Museum of Modern Art in the catalog
Link to History of the World in 21 Women  by Jenni Murray in the catalog
Link to Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos by Monica Brown in the catalog

Link to Revolutionary Biographies Resource Guide Series