Who Was Frida Kahlo?


She wanted to be a doctor

Famed artist Frida Kahlo was born in Mexico City in 1907 to a Mexican mother and German father, who immigrated to Mexico in the late 1800s to work as a photographer. Despite the appreciation of the arts instilled in her upbringing, Kahlo originally set her sights on becoming a doctor and was one of the few women accepted into the prestigious National Preparatory School, where she studied biology and science.

But she had a lot of medical problems

Much of Kahlo's distinctive art style stems from her complex and, at times, rigid relationship with her body. It all started when she was six years old and was diagnosed with polio, which hindered her physical development and left her right leg shorter and shorter than her left. Then, at the age of 18, the course of Kahlo's life changed completely thanks to the lost umbrella. On the way home from school, she and a friend initially boarded a street bus, but after realizing she had left her umbrella behind, they decided to turn back and wait for the next one.

He was forced to sit in the back of a crowded bus, which may have saved his life, as a streetcar rammed into the side of the bus, killing several people on board. A long metal railing pierced Kahlo through her pelvis, her spine was broken in three places, her right leg was completely broken, and her collarbone was broken. Her recovery was long and difficult, and she never fully recovered. The ongoing pain and complications from her injuries deeply affected both her art and her life.

She had a really complicated love life

Outside of his family, the most influential relationship of Kahlo's life was, once again, with Diego Rivera, a world-renowned Mexican painter. She initially met Rivera when she worked on a mural in her high school, but when they reunited six years later in 1928, they bonded over her love of art and their relationship quickly became a romantic one. Went. As a muralist, Rivera traveled a lot, so Kahlo spent a lot of time in places like San Francisco and New York, but she was unhappy with the memory of traveling and home to Mexico.

Despite their intense and passionate relationship, Rivera was rarely, if ever, loyal to Kahlo. He's also had his share of affairs, but Rivera went too far when he became involved with his sister, Cristina. In her despair, Kahlo cuts her hair and begins to search for her bisexuality. Rivera and Kahlo always got back together, but her pain continued when she suffered a miscarriage, affecting much of her art at the time. The two never managed to have a child.

She was a communist

Kahlo's progressive outlook developed in childhood. She joined the fiery political group Los Cachuchas, which opposed the overly strict dress code of that era, as well as the Mexican Communist Party while still in high school. She shared this passion with Rivera, whose infamous mural Man at the Crossroads was originally commissioned by the Rockefeller family, but painted after the artist refused to remove the image of Vladimir Lenin.

But once he was suspected of killing a Marxist revolutionary
In 1940, Kahlo was held in a Mexico City prison for questioning on the suspicion that she was involved in the death of revolutionary political theorist Leon Trotsky, who was stabbed to death by a Soviet agent. Kahlo and Trotsky actually had a decade-long friendship that was intermittently romantic, and Trotsky even kept a portrait he had painted in his office, but police concluded it had something to do with his murder. was not.

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