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Kahlo, Frida Biography


Mexican painter, who produced mostly small, highly personal self-portraits using elements of fantasy and a style inspired by native popular art. Kahlo was born in Coyoacán, Mexico, near Mexico City. While a student at Mexico City's National Preparatory School in 1925, Frida Kahlo sustained severe injuries in a bus accident. During her recuperation, Kahlo taught herself to paint. After three years she took some of her first paintings to the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, who encouraged her to continue her work. Kahlo and Rivera married in 1929.

Influenced by Rivera's work, Kahlo adopted his use of broad, simplified color areas and a deliberately naive style in her oil paintings. Like Rivera, she wanted her paintings to affirm her Mexican identity, and she frequently used subject matter from Mexican archaeology and folk art.

Kahlo primarily depicted her personal experience. She frequently focused on the painful aspects of her life, using graphic imagery to convey her meaning. The turbulence of her marriage is shown in the weeping and physically injured self-portraits she painted when she felt rejected by Rivera. Frida Kahlo portrayed her physical disintegration, the result of the bus accident, in such works as The Broken Column, in which she wears a metal brace and her body is open to reveal a broken column in place of her spine.

Frida Kahlo’s famous paintings include:

  • Dona Rosita Morillo
  • Friuts of the Earth
  • Flower of Life
  • My Dress Hangs There
  • Self-Portrait
  • Self-Portrait with Monkey
  • The Bride Frightened at Seeing Life Opened
  • Self-Portrait
  • The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth

View Kahlo, Frida paintings here.

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