Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacan, Mexico. Her father is a german descendant and photographer who immigrated to Mexico where he met and married her mother Matilde who is half american and half spanish. Frida Kahlo grew up in the family’s home with her three sisters. They had poor health in their childhood, in fact Frida contracted a lot of illnesses like polio that caused her right leg and foot to grow much thinner than her left one. She has been wearing long skirts to cover that for the rest of her life. Her father, with whom she has kept a very close relationship for her whole life, encouraged her to do lots of sports like wrestling, which is very unusual at that time for a girl.
Frida attendended the renowned National Preparatory School in Mexico City in 1922. There were only thirty-five female students enrolled in that school and she soon became famous for her bravery. At this school she first met Diego Rivera for the first time and she often watched him working and she told a friend she will marry him someday.
In the same year Frida joined a gang of students who shared similar interests and she fell in love with Alejandro Gomez Arias. They were together on a september afternoon, when they were travelling on a bus the tragic accident happened. The bus collided with a streetcar and Kahlo was seriously injured. She had to stay in hospital for several weeks and when she got back home she started painting to kill the time and alleviate the pain.
Frida reconnected with Rivera in 1928 and they soon started the romantic relationship. The next year they got married and had to travel for Diego’s work a lot. She continued painting and during these years she did a portrait titled “Henry Ford Hospital”. The relationship with Diego was unusual, because he had so many affairs and she suffered a lot.
In 1938 Frida became a friend of Andrea Brentos, who told her she was a Surrealist. In the same year she had an exhibition at New York City gallery where she sold some of her portraits and got two commissions. In 1941 she lost her father and continued to suffer from chronic health problems. Despite her personal problems, her work was growing in popularity and in 1944 she did one of her most famous portraits, The Broken Column.
Her health condition worsened in 1950 when she was diagnosed with gangrene in her right foot. She became bedridden and had several surgeries but with great persistence she continued to paint and she had also an exhibition. A few months later she had to accept another surgery and part of her right leg got amputated. She was also deeply depressed but despite that she has been active in the political movement.
She passed away when she was 47 years old, she was publicly reported to die of pulmonary embolism, but there is speculation which was saying she died of a possible suicide. Her fame has been growing after her death and in the 1970s the interest in her work and life was renewed due to the feminst movement since she was viewed as an icon of female creativity.
Giorgia Peroni 3AL