Frida Kahlo

The Two Fridas, 1939

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© Frida Kahlo

About the Artist

Frida Kahlo took inspiration from native popular art in order to find and assert her Mexican identity. Working in a primitive style, her paintings are full of odd color combinations, static figures and incredible space and scale. Kahlo experienced tremendous physical and psychological torment throughout her life. When she was fifteen, she was involved in a near fatal streetcar accident which left her with a crushed pelvis, fractured spine and broken foot. This accident was the beginning of a lifelong battle of operations, infection, amputation, and, eventually, death. It was also the beginning of a remarkable series of paintings about pain, confinement and femininity. Almost all of Kahlo's paintings are self-portraits, an autobiography in paint. Kahlo said that many of her contemporaries "thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn't. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality." Diego Rivera, Kahlo's husband, gave her house in Coyoacan and its contents to the state to be used as the Frida Kahlo Museum after her death in 1954. BIRTHPLACE: Coyoacan, Mexico EDUCATION: Self-taught EXHIBITIONS: 1953 Gallery of Contemporary Art, Mexico City

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