Frida Kahlo
Overview
Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter
Mexican art
Mexican art consists of the various visual and plastic arts which developed over the geographical area now known as Mexico. The development of these arts roughly follow the history of Mexico, divided into the Mesoamerican era, the colonial period, with the period after the gaining of Independence...

, born in Coyoacán
Coyoacán
Coyoacán refers to one of the sixteen boroughs of the Federal District of Mexico City as well as the former village which is now the borough’s “historic center.” The name comes from Nahuatl and most likely means “place of coyotes,” when the Aztecs named a pre-Hispanic village on the southern shore...

, and perhaps best known for her self-portraits.

Kahlo's life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue House. She gave her birth date as July 7, 1910, but her birth certificate shows July 6, 1907. Kahlo had allegedly wanted the year of her birth to coincide with the year of the beginning of the Mexican revolution so that her life would begin with the birth of modern Mexico.
Quotations

I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.

Letter to Ella Wolfe, "Wednesday 13," 1938, quoted in Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera (1983) ISBN 0-06-091127-1 , p.197. In a footnote (p.467), Herrera writes that Kahlo had heard this joke from her friend, the poet José Frías.

I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.

Quoted in Antonio Rodríguez, "Una pintora extraordinaria," Así (1945-03-17)

I have suffered two grave accidents in my life, one in which a streetcar knocked me down... The other accident is Diego.

Quoted in Gisèle Freund, "Imagen de Frida Kahlo," Novedades (Mexico City) (1951-06-10)

They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn't. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.

Quoted in Time Magazine, "Mexican Autobiography" (1953-04-27)

I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.

Quoted in Time Magazine, "Mexican Autobiography" (1953-04-27)

Pies, para qué los quieroSi tengo alas para volar.

Feet, what do I need them forIf I have wings to fly.

I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return.

Last words in her diary (July 1954)

Encyclopedia
Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter
Mexican art
Mexican art consists of the various visual and plastic arts which developed over the geographical area now known as Mexico. The development of these arts roughly follow the history of Mexico, divided into the Mesoamerican era, the colonial period, with the period after the gaining of Independence...

, born in Coyoacán
Coyoacán
Coyoacán refers to one of the sixteen boroughs of the Federal District of Mexico City as well as the former village which is now the borough’s “historic center.” The name comes from Nahuatl and most likely means “place of coyotes,” when the Aztecs named a pre-Hispanic village on the southern shore...

, and perhaps best known for her self-portraits.

Kahlo's life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue House. She gave her birth date as July 7, 1910, but her birth certificate shows July 6, 1907. Kahlo had allegedly wanted the year of her birth to coincide with the year of the beginning of the Mexican revolution so that her life would begin with the birth of modern Mexico. At the age of six, Frida developed polio, which caused her right leg to appear much thinner than the other. It was to remain that way permanently. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.

Mexican culture and Amerindian cultural tradition are important in her work, which has been sometimes characterized as Naïve art
Naïve art
Naïve art is a classification of art that is often characterized by a childlike simplicity in its subject matter and technique. While many naïve artists appear, from their works, to have little or no formal art training, this is often not true...

or folk art
Folk art
Folk art encompasses art produced from an indigenous culture or by peasants or other laboring tradespeople. In contrast to fine art, folk art is primarily utilitarian and decorative rather than purely aesthetic....

. Her work has also been described as "surrealist", and in 1938 André Breton, principal initiator of the surrealist movement, described Kahlo's art as a "ribbon around a bomb".

Kahlo had a volatile marriage with the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera
Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez was a prominent Mexican painter born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, an active communist, and husband of Frida Kahlo . His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in...

. She suffered lifelong health problems, many of which derived from a traffic accident during her teenage years. These issues are represented in her works, many of which are self-portraits of one sort or another. Kahlo suggested, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best." She also stated, "I was born a bitch. I was born a painter."

Childhood and family

Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in the house of her parents, known as La Casa Azul
Frida Kahlo Museum
The Frida Kahlo Museum , also known as the Blue House for the structure's cobalt-blue walls, is a historic house museum and art museum dedicated to the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. It is located in the Colonia del Carmen neighborhood of Coyoacán in Mexico City...

(The Blue House), in Coyoacán
Coyoacán
Coyoacán refers to one of the sixteen boroughs of the Federal District of Mexico City as well as the former village which is now the borough’s “historic center.” The name comes from Nahuatl and most likely means “place of coyotes,” when the Aztecs named a pre-Hispanic village on the southern shore...

. At the time, Coyoacan was a small town on the outskirts of Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

.

Her father, Guillermo Kahlo
Guillermo Kahlo
Carl Wilhelm Kahlo was a German photographer and father of artist Frida Kahlo, who painted his portrait....

 (1871–1941), was born Carl Wilhelm Kahlo in Pforzheim
Pforzheim
Pforzheim is a town of nearly 119,000 inhabitants in the state of Baden-Württemberg, southwest Germany at the gate to the Black Forest. It is world-famous for its jewelry and watch-making industry. Until 1565 it was the home to the Margraves of Baden. Because of that it gained the nickname...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, the son of Jakob Heinrich Kahlo and Henriette Kaufmann. While Frida maintained that her father was of Hungarian-Jewish ancestry, one set of researchers has established that Guillermo Kahlo's parents were not Jewish, but Lutheran Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

. Carl Wilhelm Kahlo traveled to Mexico during 1891 at the age of nineteen years and, upon his arrival, changed his German forename, Wilhelm
Wilhelm
Wilhelm may refer to:* Wilhelm I, German Emperor , King of Prussia and German Emperor* Wilhelm II, German Emperor , grandson of the former, King of Prussia and German Emperor* Wilhelm , a character in Xenosaga...

, to its Spanish equivalent, Guillermo
Guillermo
Guillermo is the Spanish form of the male given name William. It can refer to:*Guillermo Arduino, Argentine journalist, television presenter and meteorologist at CNN*Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Argentine former football player...

.

Frida's mother, Matilde Calderón y Gonzalez, was a devout Roman Catholic of primarily Amerindian
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

, as well as Spanish, ancestry. Frida's parents were married soon after the death of Guillermo's first wife, which occurred during the birth of her second child. Although their marriage was quite unhappy, Guillermo and Matilde had four daughters, with Frida being the third. She had two older half sisters who were raised in the same household. Frida remarked that she grew up in a world surrounded by females. However, during most of her life, Frida remained amicable with her father.

The Mexican Revolution
Mexican Revolution
The Mexican Revolution was a major armed struggle that started in 1910, with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime autocrat Porfirio Díaz. The Revolution was characterized by several socialist, liberal, anarchist, populist, and agrarianist movements. Over time the Revolution...

 began during 1910, when Kahlo was three years old. Kahlo later claimed that she was born in 1910, allegedly so that people would associate her with the revolution. In her writings, she recalled that her mother would usher her and her sisters inside the house as gunfire echoed in the streets of her hometown.

Kahlo contracted polio at age six, which left her right leg thinner than the left, which she disguised by wearing long, colorful skirts. It has been conjectured that she also suffered from spina bifida
Spina bifida
Spina bifida is a developmental congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube. Some vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed and remain unfused and open. If the opening is large enough, this allows a portion of the spinal cord to protrude through...

, a congenital disease that could have affected both spinal and leg development. As a girl, she participated in boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

 and other sports. In 1922, Kahlo was enrolled in the Preparatoria, one of Mexico's premier schools, where she was one of only thirty-five girls. Kahlo joined a clique
Clique
A clique is an exclusive group of people who share common interests, views, purposes, patterns of behavior, or ethnicity. A clique as a reference group can be either normative or comparative. Membership in a clique is typically exclusive, and qualifications for membership may be social or...

 at the school and became enamored of the strongest personality of it, Alejandro Gómez Arias. During this period, Kahlo also witnessed violent armed struggles in the streets of Mexico City as the Mexican Revolution continued.

On September 17, 1925, Kahlo was riding in a bus that collided with a trolley car. She suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident, including a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a broken pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and a dislocated shoulder. Also, an iron handrail pierced her abdomen and her uterus
Uterus
The uterus or womb is a major female hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ of most mammals including humans. One end, the cervix, opens into the vagina, while the other is connected to one or both fallopian tubes, depending on the species...

, which seriously damaged her reproductive ability.

The accident left her in a great deal of pain while she spent three months recovering in a full body cast. Although she recovered from her injuries and eventually regained her ability to walk, she had relapse
Relapse
Relapse, in relation to drug misuse, is resuming the use of a drug or a dependent substance after one or more periods of abstinence. The term is a landmark feature of both substance dependence and substance abuse, which are learned behaviors, and is maintained by neuronal adaptations that mediate...

s of extreme pain for the remainder of her life. The pain was intense and often left her confined to a hospital or bedridden for months at a time. She had as many as thirty-five operations as a result of the accident, mainly on her back, her right leg, and her right foot. The injuries also prevented Kahlo from having a child because of the medical complications and permanent damage. All three pregnancies had to be terminated.

Career as painter

After the accident, Kahlo neglected the study of medicine to begin a painting career. She painted to occupy her time during her temporary immobilization. Her self-portraits became a dominant part of her life when she was immobile for three months after her accident. Kahlo once said, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best."

Her mother had a special easel made for her so she could paint in bed, and her father lent her his box of oil paints and some brushes.

Drawn from personal experiences, including her marriage, her miscarriage
Miscarriage
Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or fetus is incapable of surviving independently, generally defined in humans at prior to 20 weeks of gestation...

s, and her numerous operations, Kahlo's works are often characterized by their suggestions of pain.

Of her 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits which often incorporate symbolic portrayals of physical and psychological wounds. She insisted, "I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality."

Diego had a great influence on Frida’s painting style. Frida had always admired Diego and his work. She first approached Diego in the Public Ministry of Education, where he had been working on a mural in 1927. She showed him four of her paintings, and asked whether he considered her gifted. Diego was impressed and said “You got talent”. After that, he became a frequent welcomed guest at Frida’s house. He gave her many wonderful insights for her artworks while still left her space to explore herself. There is no doubt that the positive and encouraging comment made by Diego strengthened Frida’s wish to pursue a career as an artist.

Kahlo was also influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, which is apparent in her use of bright colors, dramatic symbolism and primitive style. She frequently included the symbolic monkey. In Mexican mythology
Mythology
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

, monkeys are symbols of lust, but Kahlo portrayed them as tender and protective symbols. Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 and Jewish themes are often depicted in her
work.

She combined elements of the classic religious Mexican tradition with surrealist renderings. Kahlo created a few drawings of "portraits," but unlike her paintings, they were more abstract. She did one of her husband, Diego Rivera, and of herself.
At the invitation of André Breton
André Breton
André Breton was a French writer and poet. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism"....

, she went to France during 1939 and was featured at an exhibition of her paintings in Paris. The Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

 bought one of her paintings, The Frame, which was displayed at the exhibit. This was the first work by a twentieth century Mexican artist that was purchased by the renowned museum.

Marriage

As a young artist, Kahlo communicated with the Mexican painter, Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera
Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez was a prominent Mexican painter born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, an active communist, and husband of Frida Kahlo . His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in...

, whose work she admired, asking him for advice about pursuing art as a career. He recognized her talent. He encouraged her artistic development and also began an intimate relationship with Frida. They were married in 1929, despite the disapproval of Frida's mother.

Their marriage was often troubled. Kahlo and Rivera both had irritable temperaments and numerous extramarital affairs. The bisexual Kahlo had affairs with both men and women, including Isamu Noguchi
Isamu Noguchi
was a prominent Japanese American artist and landscape architect whose artistic career spanned six decades, from the 1920s onward. Known for his sculpture and public works, Noguchi also designed stage sets for various Martha Graham productions, and several mass-produced lamps and furniture pieces,...

 and Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker was an American dancer, singer, and actress who found fame in her adopted homeland of France. She was given such nicknames as the "Bronze Venus", the "Black Pearl", and the "Créole Goddess"....

; Rivera knew of and tolerated her relationships with women, but her relationships with men made him jealous. For her part, Kahlo was furious when she learned that Rivera had an affair with her younger sister, Cristina. The couple divorced in November 1939, but remarried in December 1940. Their second marriage was as troubled as the first. Their living quarters were often separate, although sometimes adjacent.

Later years and death

Active communists, Kahlo and Rivera befriended Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 after he gained political asylum in Mexico from Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's regime in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 during the late 1930s. During 1937, Trotsky lived initially with Rivera and then at Kahlo's home (where he had an affair with Kahlo). Trotsky and his wife then relocated to another house in Coyoacán
Coyoacán
Coyoacán refers to one of the sixteen boroughs of the Federal District of Mexico City as well as the former village which is now the borough’s “historic center.” The name comes from Nahuatl and most likely means “place of coyotes,” when the Aztecs named a pre-Hispanic village on the southern shore...

 where, in 1940, he was assassinated.

Frida Kahlo died on July 13, 1954, soon after turning 47. A few days before her death she wrote in her diary: "I hope the exit is joyful — and I hope never to return — Frida". The official cause of death was given as a pulmonary embolism
Pulmonary embolism
Pulmonary embolism is a blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches by a substance that has travelled from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream . Usually this is due to embolism of a thrombus from the deep veins in the legs, a process termed venous thromboembolism...

, although some suspected that she died from an overdose that may or may not have been accidental. An autopsy
Autopsy
An autopsy—also known as a post-mortem examination, necropsy , autopsia cadaverum, or obduction—is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present...

 was never performed. She had been very ill throughout the previous year and her right leg had been amputated at the knee, owing to gangrene
Gangrene
Gangrene is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that arises when a considerable mass of body tissue dies . This may occur after an injury or infection, or in people suffering from any chronic health problem affecting blood circulation. The primary cause of gangrene is reduced blood...

. She had a bout of bronchopneumonia
Bronchopneumonia
Bronchopneumonia or bronchial pneumonia or "Bronchogenic pneumonia" is the acute inflammation of the walls of the bronchioles...

 about that time, which had left her quite frail.

In his autobiography, Diego Rivera would write that the day Kahlo died was the most tragic day of his life, adding that, too late, he had realized that the most wonderful part of his life had been his love for her.

A pre-Columbian
Pre-Columbian
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during...

 urn holding her ashes is on display in her former home, La Casa Azul (The Blue House), in Coyoacán
Coyoacán
Coyoacán refers to one of the sixteen boroughs of the Federal District of Mexico City as well as the former village which is now the borough’s “historic center.” The name comes from Nahuatl and most likely means “place of coyotes,” when the Aztecs named a pre-Hispanic village on the southern shore...

, which since 1958 has been maintained as a museum housing a number of her works of art and numerous mementos and artifacts from her personal life.

Posthumous recognition

Aside from the 1939 acquisition by the Louvre, Kahlo's work was not widely acclaimed until decades after her death. Often she was remembered only as Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera
Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez was a prominent Mexican painter born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, an active communist, and husband of Frida Kahlo . His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in...

's wife. It was not until the early 1980s, when the artistic style in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 known as Neomexicanismo began, that she became well-known to the public. It was during this time that artists such as Kahlo, Abraham Ángel
Abraham Ángel
Abraham Ángel Card Valdés was a Mexican artist known under his first name Abraham Ángel because his Scottish father forbade him to use the surname after he left the family when Abraham Ángel was a child.- Life :...

, Ángel Zárraga
Ángel Zárraga
Ángel Zárraga Argüelles was a Mexican painter. He was founding member of the cultural organization El Ateneo de la Juventud.-Biography:...

, and others gained recognition and Jesus Helguera's classical calendar paintings became famous.

During the same decade of the 1980s other factors helped to make her better known. The first retrospective of Frida Kahlo’s work outside Mexico (exhibited alongside the photographs of Tina Modotti
Tina Modotti
Tina Modotti was an Italian photographer, model, actress, and revolutionary political activist.- Early life :Modotti was born Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti Mondini in Udine, Friuli, Italy...

) opened at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in May 1982, organized and co-curated by Peter Wollen
Peter Wollen
Peter Wollen is a film theorist and writer. He studied English at Christ Church, Oxford. Both political journalist and film theorist, Wollen's Signs and Meaning in the Cinema , helped to transform the discipline of film studies by incorporating the methodology of structuralism and...

 and Laura Mulvey
Laura Mulvey
Laura Mulvey is a British feminist film theorist. She was educated at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She is currently professor of film and media studies at Birkbeck, University of London...

. The exhibition also was shown in Sweden, Germany, Manhattan, and Mexico City. The movie Frida, naturaleza viva (1983), directed by Paul Leduc with Ofelia Medina
Ofelia Medina
Ofelia Medina is a Mexican actress, singer and screenwriter of Mexican films. She was married to film director Alex Philips Jr. and actor Pedro Armendáriz Jr..-Biography:...

 as Frida and painter Juan José Gurrola as Diego, was a great success. For the rest of her life, Medina has remained in a quasi-perpetual Frida role. Also during the same time, Hayden Herrera published an influential biography, Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo, which became a worldwide bestseller. Raquel Tibol, a Mexican artist and personal friend of Frida, wrote Frida Kahlo: una vida abierta. Other works about her include a biography by Mexican art critic and psychoanalyst Teresa del Conde and texts by other Mexican critics and theorists, such as Jorge Alberto Manrique.

From 1990–91, Kahlo's "Diego on my Mind" (1943), oil on masonite, 76 by 61 centimeters piece was used as the representative piece on the post for the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

's Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries art exhibit. In 1991, the opera Frida by Robert Xavier Rodriguez
Robert Xavier Rodriguez
Robert Xavier Rodríguez is an American classical composer, best known for his eight operas and his works for children.- Life and career :...

, which had been commissioned by the American Music Theater Festival, premiered in Philadelphia.

In 1994, American jazz flautist and composer James Newton
James Newton
James W. Newton is an American jazz flautist, composer, and conductor.-Biography:From his earliest years, James Newton grew up immersed in the sounds of African American music, including urban blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel. In his early teens he played electric bass guitar, alto saxophone,...

 released an album inspired by Kahlo titled Suite for Frida Kahlo on AudioQuest Music (now known as Sledgehammer Blues
Sledgehammer Blues
Sledgehammer Blues is an independent record label owned by Valley Entertainment that was formerly named AudioQuest Music.From the label’s website, “The blues label was founded in the late 1980s with the mission to create the highest standard audiophile recordings based on the technology available...

).

On June 21, 2001, she became the first Hispanic woman to be honored with a U.S. postage stamp.

In 2002, the American biographical movie Frida
Frida
Frida is a 2002 biographical film which depicts the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. It stars Salma Hayek in her Academy Award nominated portrayal as Kahlo and Alfred Molina as her husband, Diego Rivera....

, directed by Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor is an American director of theater, opera and film. Taymor's work has received many accolades from critics, and she has earned two Tony Awards out of four nominations, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song...

, in which Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek
Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez de Pinault is a Mexican film actress, director and producer. She received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her role as Frida Kahlo in the film Frida.-Early life:...

 portrayed the artist, was released. The film was based on Herrera's book. It grossed US$ 58 million worldwide.

In 2005 an international exhibition of Kahlo's work was presented in London. It brought together eighty-seven of her works for the display.

In 2006, Kahlo's 1943 painting Roots set a US$ 5.6 million auction record for a Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

n work.

The 2009 novel The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver is an American novelist, essayist and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in the former Republic of Congo in her early childhood. Kingsolver earned degrees in biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona and worked as a freelance writer before...

 features Kahlo, her life with Rivera, and her affair with Trotsky.

On July 6, 2010, to commemorate the anniversary of her birthday, Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 altered its standard logo to include a portrait of Frida, depicted in her style of art.

On August 30, 2010, the Bank of Mexico issued a new MXN$
Mexican peso
The peso is the currency of Mexico. Modern peso and dollar currencies have a common origin in the 15th–19th century Spanish dollar, most continuing to use its sign, "$". The Mexican peso is the 12th most traded currency in the world, the third most traded in the Americas, and by far the most...

 500-peso note, featuring Frida and her 1949 painting entitled Love's Embrace of the Universe, Earth, (Mexico), I, Diego, and Mr. Xólotl on the back of the note while her husband Diego was on the front of the note.

A play based on Frida Kahlo's life was premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2008. 'Frida Kahlo: Viva la vida!", written by Mexican Humberto Robles and performed by Gael Le Cornec, received an Artistic Excellence Award and a best female performer nomination at the Brighton Festival Fringe
Brighton Festival Fringe
The Brighton Festival Fringe is an open access arts festival held annually in Brighton, England. It is the largest annual arts festival in England.- Introduction :...

 in 2009.

An exhibition of works by Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954) and Diego Rivera (1886 – 1957, 'Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Masterpieces from the Gelman Collection', will be shown at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex from 9 July to 2 October 2011. This major touring exhibition, which comes to Chichester for its only UK showing, brings together the iconic paintings of the two central figures of Mexican Modernism, for the first time in this country.

Centennial celebration

The one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Frida Kahlo was commemorated with the largest exhibit ever held of her paintings at the Palacio de Bellas Artes
Palacio de Bellas Artes
The Palacio de Bellas Artes is the most important cultural center in Mexico City as well as the rest of the country of Mexico...

, Kahlo's first comprehensive exhibit in Mexico. Works were on loan from Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Nagoya, Japan. The exhibit included one-third of her artistic production, as well as manuscripts and letters that had not been displayed previously. The exhibit was open June 13 through August 12, 2007 and surpassed all previous attendance records at the museum. Some of her work was exhibited in Monterrey
Monterrey
Monterrey , is the capital city of the northeastern state of Nuevo León in the country of Mexico. The city is anchor to the third-largest metropolitan area in Mexico and is ranked as the ninth-largest city in the nation. Monterrey serves as a commercial center in the north of the country and is the...

, Nuevo León
Nuevo León
Nuevo León It is located in Northeastern Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Tamaulipas to the north and east, San Luis Potosí to the south, and Coahuila to the west. To the north, Nuevo León has a 15 kilometer stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border adjacent to the U.S...

, and moved during September 2007 to museums in the United States.

In 2008, a Frida Kahlo exhibition in the United States with more than forty of her self-portraits, still lifes, and portraits was shown at the Walker Art Center
Walker Art Center
The Walker Art Center is a contemporary art center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. The Walker is considered one of the nation's "big five" museums for modern art along with the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Hirshhorn...

 in Minneapolis, the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest art museums in the United States. It is located at the west end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. The Museum was established in 1876 in conjunction with the Centennial Exposition of the same year...

, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a modern art museum located in San Francisco, California. A nonprofit organization, SFMOMA holds an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art and was the first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20th century art...

 and other venues.

A "Frida Kahlo Retrospective" exhibit at the Walter-Gropius-Bau, Berlin from April 30 to August 9, 2010, has brought together more than 120 drawings and paintings, including several drawings never before displayed publicly. Regarding Kahlo's "preferred" birth year (she claimed to be born in 1910 during the Mexican Revolution), the Berlin show is also being touted as a "centennial" exhibition.

La Casa Azul

Casa Azul ("Blue House") in Coyoacán
Coyoacán
Coyoacán refers to one of the sixteen boroughs of the Federal District of Mexico City as well as the former village which is now the borough’s “historic center.” The name comes from Nahuatl and most likely means “place of coyotes,” when the Aztecs named a pre-Hispanic village on the southern shore...

, Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

 is the family home where Frida Kahlo grew up and to which she returned in her final years. Frida's father, Guillermo Kahlo, built the house in 1907 as the Kahlo family home. Leon Trotsky stayed at this house when he first arrived in Mexico in 1937.

The home was donated by Diego Rivera upon his death in 1957, which occurred three years after the death of Frida, and the house is now a museum housing artifacts of her life. Her former home is a popular destination for tourists.


See also

  • History of painting
    History of painting
    The history of painting reaches back in time to artifacts from pre-historic humans, and spans all cultures. It represents a continuous, though periodically disrupted tradition from Antiquity. Across cultures, and spanning continents and millennia, the history of painting is an ongoing river of...

  • Self portrait
    Self Portrait
    Self Portrait is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's tenth studio album, released by Columbia Records in June 1970.Self Portrait was Dylan's second double album, and features mostly cover versions of well-known pop and folk songs. Also included are a handful of instrumentals and original compositions...

  • Western painting
    Western painting
    The history of Western painting represents a continuous, though disrupted, tradition from antiquity. Until the mid-19th century it was primarily concerned with representational and Classical modes of production, after which time more modern, abstract and conceptual forms gained favor.Developments...



External links

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