• Fridamania

A short biography

Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in the house of her parents, known as La Casa Azul (The Blue House), in Coyoacan.

Frida claimed that she was born on 1910, the year of the outbreak of the Mexican revolution, so people would directly associate her with the modern Mexico.

This detail well introduces us to a singular personality, characterized since her childhood by a deep sense of independence and rebellion against ordinary social and moral habits, moved by passion and sensuality, proud of her "Mexicanidad" and cultural tradition set against the reigning Americanization: everything mixed with a peculiar sense of humour.

Her life was marked by physical suffering, started with the polio contracted at the age of five and worsen by her life-dominating event occurred in 1925. A bus accident caused severe injuries to her body owing to a pole that pierced her from the stomach to the pelvis. The medicine of her time tortured her body with surgical operations (32 throughout her life), corsets of different kinds and mechanical "stretching" systems.

Lots of her works were painted laying in the bed. Drawing on personal experiences, her miscarriages, and her numerous operations, Kahlo's works often are characterized by portrayals of pain. Of her 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits which often incorporate symbolic portrayals of physical and psychological wounds.

As a young artist, Kahlo approached the famous Mexican painter, Diego Rivera, who recognized her talent and her unique expression as truly special and uniquely Mexican. He encouraged her development as an artist and soon began an intimate relationship with Frida. They were married in 1929, despite the disapproval of Frida's mother, divorced and then remarried in 1940.

She had also a lot of lovers, men and women, such as Leon Trotsky and André Breton's wife....

A few days before Frida Kahlo died on July 13, 1954, she wrote in her diary: "I hope the exit is joyful - and I hope never to return - Frida". The official cause of death was given as pulmonary embolism, although some suspected that she died from overdose that may or may not have been accidental.

Among her numerous biographies I would suggest "FRIDA. A Biography of Frida Kahlo" by Hayden Herrera and the following online resources:

Google Arts & Culture

Biography.com (follow the below link)

video by RAI ARTE  (in Italian)