Frida Kahlo was a woman of great stature, she conveyed her feelings and perception of the world through her art even at a time when women’s thoughts were not appreciated. Frida is known as one of the best artists in Mexico still to this day. The reason I chose Frida is because as a woman conquered so much and never let the stereotype of her being a woman stop her from creating art. Frida was a strong, goal oriented, intelligent woman and that’s what I strive to be. The works of art I have chosen by Frida Kahlo are, The two Fridas, Henry Ford Hospital, and My Nurse and I. These works of art display all and the emotions that Frida had at the time of composing them.
Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon, born on July 6, 1907. She was born in Coyocoán Mexico City, Mexico. to her parents. Frida’s father Guillermo Kahlo a German Lutheran was a photographer from Germany that moved to Mexico and later married Frida’s mother Matilde Calderon y Gonzalez a Catholic Spaniard. Frida was born into a relatively large family although her parents marriage was far from happy. Frida was her father’s third child and her mother’s third child, she also had 1 younger sibling. Frida was raised mainly around females having no male in her family apart from her father. She was very close to her father and was tomboy growing up. Frida’s father taught her and her sisters to never let the stereotypes in the world that girls can’t do certain things stop them from doing what they want in the world.
In 1913 at the age of 6 Frida was diagnosed with Polio. She was unable to leave her bed for nine month, her father payed a special amount of attention to her. Frida was undeniably Guillermo’s favorite child. The polio damaged her right leg leaving her with a limp. Her father encouraged her to play soccer, go swimming, and wrestle highly unusual moves for a girl at the time according to World History Project. Frida’s father thought that the physical activity would help her leg go back to normal, being a father with no sons seeing Frida doing these activities mad her father very happy. Even though Frieda’s fought hard to stay active she remained deformed in her right leg leaving it shorter than her left leg. Frida often tried wearing long skirts and two on her right foot to hide the deformity, but it wasn’t enough. When Frida attended Colegio Aleman in Mexico City cruel kids nicknamed her peg-leg Frida.
Frida, in 1922 attend Nation Preparatory School, being one of only 35 females that attend the school. At this time Frida had no intention of being an artist, she, just like her mother aspired to be a doctor. As she started to immerse in the vibrant culture of her country she found political activists and artists whom she admired. This was when the Mexican mural movement was just starting, Frida learned of a very popular political artist Diego Rivera who at the time was working on a mural called The Creation on the school campus. according to www.fridakahlo.org. Frida grew a fondness to Diego and she according to some sources she told a friend that she would have his baby in the future. The two began a romance but it stopped abruptly.
One of the many event that had a great effect on Frida’s art are one of the most tragic ones. On her way from school with her friend Alex on September 17,1925, Frida Kahlo was involved in a tragic bus accident. The bus collided with a trolly and Frida was injured severely. A metal rod made an abdominal wound that was very deep, the metal rod fractured her third and fourth lumbar vertebrae. The metal entered her hip and exited through her vagina leaving her sterile. Later in life Frida had multiple miscarriages causing her to fall into depression. Due to her injuries Frida had to wear a metal body cast for months. Yet again Frida was bedridden, her mother brought her an art easel and over her bed was a mirror. Many of the selfs portraits created by Frida were created at this time. Frida painted what she saw in herself, brokenness. One of her most famous painting The Broken Column, in this self portrait Frida shows nude covered with nothing but a thin sheet on her bottom half. Frida’s wearing a white metal corset and her spine is replaced with a broken column. The nails all over her body in the painting represent her pain and suffering. Frida said I paint myself because I am often alone and I am the subject I know best. according to www.frida-kahlo-foundation.com. Frida was largely impacted by Mexican culture, you can see that in the bright colors she used and her dramatic symbolism.
In 1929 Frida Kahlo married the artist Diego Rivera that she had admired at a young age. Frida’s mother disapproved strongly of the marriage. Frida and Diego were referred to as the elephant and the dove because of their size difference. Frida and Diego moved a lot because of Diego’s work. They moved to San Francisco 1930 and also moved to New York. While in New York DIego was commissioned to make a mural at the Rockefeller Center, Diego tried to include a communist leader in the mural and was fired. That part of the mural was painted over and the couple had to move back to Mexico. They later moved to Detroit where Diego worked at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Frida and Diego’s marriage was not your average marriage. They stayed in separate homes and had separate art studios. They had what some call today an open marriage they each had affairs with other people, but Frida divorced him in 1939 after finding out her slept with her sister Cristina. Frida felt as if she did not have enough to offer as a woman in her marriage because of her inability to have children. She cut her long hair short in grievance of her marriage. Diego and Frida get married again a year later in 1940 but their marriage did not change.
In 1941 Frida was asked to create piece but failed to finish because lost her beloved father and her health conditions worsened. Frida continued to make great art even through her suffering. In 1950 Frida was diagnosed with gangrene in her right foot and that caused her condition to worsen. A few days before her death Frida wrote in her diary I hope my exit is joyful-and I hope I never return-Frida. On July 13, 1954 Frida died from her health conditions leaving a remarkably large mark on the world.
Analysis of art
The pieces that I have chosen by Frida Kahlo are The Two Fridas, Henry Ford Hospital, and My Nurse and I.
Name: The Two Fridas
Description/Info: The Two Fridas was composed in 1939, it is a self portrait of Frida Kahlo. The dimensions are 5’8 x 5’8.
Analysis:This self portrait was composed shortly after Frida and Diego Rivera divorced. This is a painting of two fridas one in traditional Mexican clothing and a broken heart. The other is independent more modern Frida. The more traditional Frida has a artery cut by surgical pincers, and is bleeding out. I believe the broken heart symbolises the heartbreak when she found found out about her husband’s infidelities with her sister. The two fridas are holding hands showing how frida feels like two seperate people on the inside. Frida uses the lights and darks in the background to create the cloudy skies to show the inner turmoil Frida is going through. The traditional Frida is how frida actually feels inside while the modern Frida is the facade she puts up to mask the actual pain she feels inside. I also believe the medical pincers represent her pain from her medical conditions just like the blood leaving her body when it’s all over Frida feels like it will end in death. Frida spent most of her life dealing with medical conditions and feels like it will soon end. This is one of my favorites because it shows that someone else also struggles with heartbreak, sadness, and the need to hide their pain so they are not viewed as weak.