Frida Kahlo is one of the most famous and beloved Mexican artists. She is also one of the most influential painters in modern art.
Kahlo was born in Coyoacán, Mexico in 1907 and died at age 47 in 1954. Her father was a German Jew and her mother was a Mexican Jew who converted to Catholicism. Frida suffered from polio when she was six years old and became a lifelong invalid.
Her work was mostly self-portraiture and she used art as a way to express her personal experiences, which included being crippled by polio at age 6, contracting tuberculosis as a teenager and suffering an accident at age 18 that resulted in severe injuries to her spine.
Frida Kahlo’s paintings are often described as surrealist because of their dream-like quality and use of symbolism. She painted herself with animal heads, open wounds and amputated limbs—all images that reflected her complicated relationship with her body.
In many ways, the physical pain she experienced throughout her life made her stronger. Frida Kahlo represents the strength and resilience of Mexican people. She also represents the power of art to transcend the physical and emotional limitations imposed by injury and illness.
Frida’s paintings focus on themes related to women’s struggle for equality and identity within patriarchal societies. Her work often portrayed herself as a victim of male oppression: she appeared wounded or ill in many works, including “The Broken Column” (1944). Later in life, she also created self-portraits depicting herself as an Indian goddess or an Aztec warrior queen – powerful images that reflected her own strength and resilience despite physical limitations imposed by polio.