"They thought I was a surrealist, but I wasn't. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality." - Frida Kahlo
Frida Khalo was born in Coyocoán, Mexico City, in 1907. She experienced immense suffering in her life, yet she refused to become a victim to her misfortunes. She contracted polio at age six, suffered from spinal bifida and was in an almost fatal car accident that left her bed ridden for months, which led her to painting. Reflecting her raw feelings, Frida narrated her life in art.
Frida was a unique and bold woman. She defied gender stereotypes, she was extremely open about her sexuality and she refused to alter her features that were deemed 'masucline' by others. Her famous unibrow is just one of the many ways in which she proclaimed her broad views on traditional gender roles.
Frida Khalo lived by her own rules. She wore bright, traditional Mexican clothing at a time where everyone was dressing more European/Western in Mexico. She paid little attention to societal norms, and lived a life true to herself.
What I love the most about Frida Khalo is that she painted real women and real experiences. She deviated from traditional depictions of female beauty in art and chose to paint raw experiences that women face. The stories she paints are personal, but on many levels universal, often seen as taboo and like many female experiences altogether ignored. Frida once said of her artworks “they are the frankest expression of myself”. Frida Khalo symbolised her own pain and suffering in her artwork, taking the wounds and scars she had and turned them into beauty.
Frida Khalo was a strong woman who created her own look, marched to the beat of her own drum, and called it like it was. That is why I love her!
What do you think about artist Frida Khalo?
Who are the strong women in history that you admire?