LoginRegister
This content has been restricted to logged in users only. Please login to view this content.
Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Explained Simply For Kids & Teens

Want to write for us? Click Here


Who Was Frida Kahlo?

Written by Vedika Pathania

Frida Kahlo, whose original name was Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo Calderón, was a Mexican artist most known for her bold and brightly coloured self-portraits that explore topics like individuality, the human form, and death…

By I Kid You Not , in People , at October 13, 2021 Tags: ,

Written by Vedika Pathania (written when she was a second-year student)

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter and one of the most iconic artists of her time. She was best known for her self-portraits and art that were inspired by nature and artefacts of Mexico.

You may have seen her vibrant portrait of a woman, her hair coiled into dark braids, a flower crown on top, a colourful dress and the signature dark unibrow.

All these features are distinct to none other than one of the most well-known and revered female artists of the 20th Century, Frida Kahlo.

Who was Frida Kahlo?

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Frida Kahlo, whose original name was Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo Calderón, was a Mexican artist most known for her bold and brightly coloured self-portraits that explore topics like individuality, the human form, and death. Despite her denials, she is frequently referred to as a Surrealist.

(Surrealism was a cultural movement that emerged  in Europe following the First World War  The movement is most recognised for its visual artworks and writings, which contrast different elements in order to stimulate the unconscious mind via images.)

About Frida Kahlo’s life

She was born in 1907, although she falsified her birth date to 1910 so that her birth coincides with the Mexican Revolution.

Frida was raised by a Hungarian-German father and her mother had Spanish and Native American ancestry. Later in her career as an artist, Kahlo explored her identity by portraying her heritage as binary opposites: colonial Europeans and indigenous Mexicans.

She had polio as a youngster, which left her with a small limp that she would have to live with for the rest of her life.

Despite taking some sketching lessons, Kahlo was primarily interested in science and enrolled at the National Preparatory School in Mexico City in 1922 with the intention of pursuing medicine later.

The accident

She was badly injured in a bus accident in 1925 when she was 18, and she had to endure more than 30 surgical surgeries throughout the course of her life. During her long healing, Kahlo taught herself to paint and read a lot, focusing on the Old Masters’ art.

Courtesy of www.FridaKahlo.org
Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

This above painting was painted by Frida Kahlo in 1940. Even though this was small in size, it drew a lot of interest due to the symbolic elements she uses in this to express her feelings.

A black hummingbird is hanging on to the thorns around her neck – which might be a symbol of her lifeless self that she’s using to express what she’s feeling – since a hummingbird is usually a symbol of life and freedom.
This is a painting about the suffering that she had to bear in her years bedridden after her accident.

Kahlo also painted a majestic waist-length portrait of herself on a dark background with swirling stylised waves in one of her early works, Self-Portrait Wearing a Velvet Dress (1926). Despite the painting’s abstract nature, Kahlo’s delicate modelling of her face demonstrates her interest in realism

Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress, 1926
Image Credit: www.fridakahlo.org

(Realism, in the arts, is the accurate, detailed, unembellished depiction of nature or of contemporary life)

Creating Art

She soon changed her painting style with an interest in Mexican folk art. Her themes are flatter and more abstract in these works than in her earlier work. She created the pieces while touring around the United States with her husband, Diego Rivera, who had received mural orders from a number of places.

Kahlo and Rivera returned to Mexico in 1933. In 1938, she had her first solo exhibition, which was a huge success at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. Kahlo flew to Paris the next year to exhibit her art.

The Frame (c. 1938), one of Kahlo’s works was acquired by the Louvre, making her the first 20th-century Mexican painter to be included in the collection of the museum.

The Frame
Image Credit: Louvre Museum – Via Wikimedia Commons
az334034.vo.msecnd.net/images-6/self-portrait-the-frame-frida-kahlo-1938-20633e2f.jpg

Despite her deteriorating health in the 1940s, she painted several self-portraits with a variety of hairstyles, clothes, and iconography, always portraying herself with an emotionless, unwavering look for which she became famous.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, she had many operations, several of which required lengthy hospital stays. Her poor health forced her to attend her first solo show in Mexico while laying on a bed in 1953, and she died later that year.

Despite her success as an artist during her lifetime, Kahlo’s posthumous fame rose gradually from the 1970s through the twenty-first century, reaching what some commentators dubbed “Fridamania.”

She is perhaps one of the most well-known 20th-century painters. In the decades after her death, the dramatic events of her life inspired a slew of novels and films.

Following Kahlo’s death, the feminist movement of the 1970s reawakened interest in her life and work, since she was regarded as a symbol of female brilliance by many.

Marriage

In 1929 when Frida married a famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera, but the marriage was an unhappy one. They got divorced in 1939, only to remarry a year later.

She is acclaimed in Mexico for her respect for Mexican and native culture and by feminists for her representation of the feminine experience and shape.

Key points summary

  • Frida Kahlo, whose original name was Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón, was a Mexican artist most known for her bold and brightly coloured self-portraits
  • She was born in 1907, although she falsified her birth date to 1910 so that her birth coincides with the Mexican Revolution
  • Kahlo explored her identity by portraying her heritage as binary opposites
  • She was badly injured in a bus accident in 1925, and she had to endure more than 30 surgical surgeries throughout the course of her life.
  • In 1938, she had her first solo exhibition, which was a huge success at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York
  • The Frame (c. 1938), one of Kahlo’s works, was acquired by the Louvre, making her the first 20th-century Mexican painter to be included in the collection of the museum.
  • in the 1940s, she painted several self-portraits with a variety of hairstyles, clothes, and iconography
  • Her poor health forced her to attend her first solo show in Mexico while laying on a bed in 1953, and she died later that year.
  • Kahlo’s posthumous fame rose gradually from the 1970s through the twenty-first century
  • In the decades after her death, the dramatic events of her life inspired a slew of novels and films.
  • She is acclaimed in Mexico for her respect for Mexican and native culture and by feminists for her representation of the feminine experience and shape.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Newsletter-5.jpg

Better Your Child’s G.K. In 3 Minutes – Get This Free Newsletter
Get fun facts, simple and easy news, quizzes, and lots of other interesting things to read in your mailbox – for free! It’s what we call GK-on-the-go!

I Kid You Not now has a large readership across India and also parts of the world. If you want to write for us, you can submit your story here. You can also apply to become a news anchor. Apply here

Headline Image source https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/ff/Frida-kahlo.jpg

Attribution: Lrmcdon, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4

Log in to take this quiz. You can earn points and win prizes 🙂

Comments


Leave a Reply