Frida Khalo | 06-07-1907 | an artist of truth


Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907

Let's get to know a little more about Frida Kahlo through this text by Rute Ferreira, author of several online courses in the areas of Art History and Art Analysis.

She is considered one of the most important artists in the history of art, her paintings bear witness to a female voice and her personal life fascinates as much as her work.

We are talking about Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter who was born on this day, in 1907.


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                      The two Fridas

You can see  in detail at Google Arts & Culture

The beginning

Frida’s relationship with art is born out of a tragedy. Still in her youth, she had an accident (the tram she was traveling on collided with a train) and the artist was left between life and death.

But it was during her recovery period, when she had to be bedridden, that Frida began to express herself through painting.

The consequences of this accident affected the artist’s work, especially in the painting The broken column .

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The broken column

The painting is painful. Frida portrays herself half-naked, wearing a plaster vest. Her body has, besides nails, a central opening, where the title of the painting can be understood.

Although she is facing the viewer, the woman displays a lost gaze. She is there, but she is not.

Also the setting is lonely, deserted and distressed. She is alone and staring painfully ahead. Her face is firm, even with the traces of suffering.

The style?

According to André Breton, Frida’s work fits into Surrealism, but the artist herself questioned the framework, because if Surrealist work comes from a dream, this would not be the case with her paintings.

For Frida Kahlo , her works represented the reality in which she lived, such as the successive abortions she suffered, for example.

Once again the personal tragedy is confused with her art. The accident she suffered not only affected her spine but also her uterus and she was unable to have children..

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Henry Ford Hospital

The work is intensely dramatic. While bleeding in bed, she cries. Holding strings of elements, most importantly the centralized baby, Frida portrays herself as helpless in the face of the death of the child in her womb.

Although in a setting, and although she inscribes place and date on the painting, the artist transfers the viewer to a different plane, the plane of pain, with its colors and its representation.

The marriages

Frida Kahlo married twice, to the same man, the painter Diego Rivera. Both had a troubled and aggressive relationship and separated numerous times. This relationship also appears in Frida’s work.

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Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

The artists are depicted side by side in the composition, although only he holds materials relating to the painter’s craft. The colorfulness of Frida’s clothes contrasts with the sobriety of Diego’s attire.

Note, however, the artist’s care in depicting the hands of both holding each other – an indication that the partnership extended into married life and work as well.

The end

Frida Kahlo was found dead at home on July 13, 1954, a week after her 54th birthday. The cause of death was pneumonia, although the number of medications she was taking and her previous suicide attempts have left some doubt about this.

She was, first of all, an artist who had in painting her own way of shouting.

Her voice could be heard in the form of paintings where she described herself and others in a raw and honest way.

She made a point of highlighting her marked eyebrows and upper lip, showing herself with her bruised body, bleeding.

Frida Kahlo was an artist of pain, but more than that, she was an artist of truth.

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