Frida Kahlo "Daughter of the liberation"

"My Grandparents, My Parents, and I (Family Tree)" by Frida Kahlo.
In what setting did she grow up?

Frida Kahlo was born on July 6th, 1907. But if you had asked her at the time, she would have said that's preposterous, she was born in 1910! The truth is, she decided to informally change her birth year to 1910 to coincide with the Mexican Revolution! This was very fitting; Frida held quite the revolution within herself.

Frida was born in raised in Coyoacán, Mexico. She herself would describe her childhood as "very, very, sad". As a child she went through a lot. This included a civil war, a strict mother, and contracting polio. The latter of this isolated her for months on end and later when she returned to school to be bullied by her peers. On the bright side, this made her become her father's favorite and she always remembered her time with him incredibly fondly. He sparked her interest in the humanities and encouraged her to partake in many sports, including boxing and wrestling; these which were just for males at the time. A big prankster, but also one of the brightest students at the prestigious National Preparatory School, by senior year of high school she was extremely excited to get on with her life! First step: Medical School, but now we know that is not how things worked out for young Frida.

"Las Dos Fridas" de Frida Kahlo. I chose this painting to represent also how Frida is viewed: the painter and the tragedy.
What was a significant moment in her life?

"On September 17, 1925, Kahlo and Alejandro Gómez Arias were on their way home from school when the wooden bus they were riding collided with a streetcar....The accident ended Kahlo's dreams of becoming a doctor, and caused her pain and illness for the rest of her life." Once again, after much of her childhood eaten up with isolation and social ostracization, Frida was back in square one. She had a slew of medical expenses, clinical depression, and the weight of not being able to have kids or become a doctor- lifelong dreams of hers- to bear. With all of this, what does one do? Frida Kahlo began to paint.

Many say that that bus accident had the biggest impact on her life, but that would be an insult to Frida Kahlo. She was not what happened to her, her and her paintings were what she saw, felt, and were. She was strong and individual, this bus accident didn't ruin her, it opened her up to her truest potential. With the solitude thrusted upon her to recover from the accident she learned about herself. That unfortunate event was not Kahlo, and no more should we define her as a woman who started painting because she was so traumatized by her disability. Viewing her and people with disabilities as such is an insult to them! In America and more of the Western World especially, we talk about Frida's accident almost as much as her art, and about twice as much as her politics. What about her move to Cuernavaca with her new husband Diego Rivera where she began to reconnect with her roots? What about her reclamation of herself and her sexuality? She was so much more than as the Detroit News once so gracefully put it "The Wife of the Master Mural Painter Gleefully Dabbles in Works of Art", she was as she put it: a daughter of the revolution. So while this accident was by all means significant, we cannot continue to define her as such. We should all know that it is futile to try to define Frida Kahlo (Frida herself as much as anyone)!

What was the overall meaning of Kahlo's work?

In the great majority of Frida's work you see her as someone trying to make something real, more real and raw than even what is happening at the time. She is painting as she sees, as she says, but I also believe that she was painting so that she could listen. To what her heart was telling her, or her head or canvas or hands... Her painting was discovery for Frida, self discovery and becoming more aware in general of her environment.

In addition to this, as previously mentioned, Frida was a revolutionary, and a lot of her works were political in addition to autobiographical. In summation, Kahlo's work was in discovery, in devotion to reality (through surreality!), and always to make a point of some sort. This is what we know as Frida...

Additional Paintings and Photos of Frida!
Created By
Marina Santos

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