All about Frida: 10 Interesting Facts
Frida Kahlo is without a doubt the most popular Mexican artist in the world. Here are 10 facts about her and her life.
#1: Frida is a nickname. Her given name is Magdalena Frida Carmen Kahlo y Calderón and she was born in Coyoacán, Mexico.
#2: Her birthday is controversial. Kahlo's birth certificate states she was born July 6, 1907, however, she held firmly that her birthdate was July 7, 1910. Kahlo's choice to contest her birthdate was politically-charged, as she wanted it to coincide with the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. She always felt she was a voice for the oppressed and deeply patriotic, so this act was an extension of that feeling.
#3: She wanted to be a doctor. Kahlo was a great student and had dreams of being a doctor. She had polio at age 6, which disrupted her childhood. This ultimately turned her on to art, as a way of expressing the suffering and pain.
#4: Kahlo is famously known for being stricken by tragedy. She was involved in a serious bus crash at age 18, where an iron bar pierced her abdomen. She was in the hospital for months and had nearly 30 operations.
#5: Her suffering caused her to become the Queen of self-portraits. Due to her disability caused by Polio, Kahlo's parents bought her a custom easel that she could use while lying down, protecting her fragile spine. Art helped her cope with her suffering and she was her most commonly used subject. Painting became the outlet to her pain. Self-portraits make up nearly 55 of the 150 works she painted.
#6: Politics were important to her. Kahlo joined the Mexican Communist party and offered political asylum to the Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his wife. She wanted to improve the lives of Mexican women and became their voice, as they were oppressed citizens in the Mexican patriarchal society.
#7: Frida had many loves. She was married to famous muralist Diego Rivera, but for Kahlo, fidelity did not equal love. Both artists had several known affairs with others. She was bisexual and comfortable with it.
#8: Her style is iconic throughout the world. Throughout her life and after, Kahlo has always been a strong woman that others look up to. She's a source of inspiration to so many around the world. Her face itself has a signature look where she designed her own hairstyles, always had on red lips, and her impressive unibrow, always accentuated.
#9: Kahlo rarely cracked a smile. It is said that she hated her teeth and smile, so never showed them. It's for this reason, she displays a similar emotion in all photos of her.
#10: Kahlo was born and died in Casa Azul. The famous blue house she spent her life in is located in the center of Coyocán, and is now the must-visit Frida Kahlo Museum. Her ashes sit on her bed in an urn shaped like the artist's face.