Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kahlo, Frida

Self-Portrait with inscription
Oil on masonite
61 x 45 cm
Private collection

"I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best." Frida Kahlo also stated, "I was born a bitch. I was born a painter."

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (1907 - 1954) was a Mexican painter, and is 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.

Mexican culture and Amerindian cultural tradition are important in her work, which has been sometimes characterized as Naïve art or folk art. 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".

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. She suffered lifelong health problems, many of which derived from a traffic accident she experienced as a teenager. Kahlo produced only about 200 paintings - primarily still life and portrait of herself, family and friends. She died July 13, 1954, at the age of 47.