Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was a very strong and influential woman. As a surrealist Mexican painter, she created many self-portraits in which all of her deepest inner feelings spilled out onto the canvas. She was not just an artist, but also a feminist, a political fighter, and a woman who strongly held up to her beliefs. Kahlo went through many hardships, both physically and mentally, and was able to overcome them and follow her passions.
She is strong-willed and passionate in her beliefs and with her artwork. She is also an incredible surrealist painter. Many people would look at Kahlo’s physical disabilities and imperfections, and predispose that she is incapable of having a voice and making a difference. She is able to reach out to many people through her artwork, allowing her paintings to speak for themselves. She is not afraid to speak her mind or go against gender norms.
Frida Kahlo contracted polio at the age of six and was a part of a street car collision in which she fractured her spine and pelvis; it left her physically disabled and created long-term medical problems throughout her life. She went through a stormy marriage with her husband Diego Rivera, and suffered a miscarriage on top of it all. Although Kahlo experienced a lot of pain and suffering throughout her lifetime, she used her sadness and loneliness to create beautiful and meaningful artwork.
In 1922, Kahlo enrolled at the renowned National Preparatory School. She was one of the few female students to attend the school.
Awards and Recognition
In 1942, Frida Kahlo was elected a member of the Seminario de Cultura Mexicana, a group whose mission was to promote Mexican culture. In 1943, she was appointed to the staff of the newly founded School of Painting and Sculpture. She was then presented with the Mexican Award of Art and Science in 1946.
Kahlo was a sexually liberated woman and was openly bisexual, which was extremely scandalous during this time; she was a victim of a patriarchal Mexican culture, and she pushed the boundaries of what a woman was supposed to be and what she was supposed to look like. Later in life, she taught art classes to high school students and became a passionate mentor to several successful artists. She exhibited her paintings in Paris and Mexico before her death in 1958. She sets a historical precedent for women by showing that all women can be strong and make a difference for the next generation of women to come.