Rue Frida Kahlo - Street

Rue Frida Kahlo

Mexican Painter
Known for her self-portraits
Birth year
Year of death
Places of residence
Coyoacán - Mexico ¦ San Francisco - USA

Who is she?

The third of Matilde and Guillermo Kahlo's four daughters, Magdalena Frida Carmen was born in the "Blue House" (Casa azul) built by her parents in 1904, now the Frida Kahlo Museum, in the middle of a middle-class neighbourhood in Coyoacán, south of Mexico City.

A brilliant student, the young woman aspired to study medicine. Fate decided otherwise. At the age of 17, Frida, who was in poor health, suffering from polio since the age of six, was involved in a serious bus accident. She had to undergo numerous operations. This trauma, responsible for Asherman's syndrome, was one of the causes of Frida Kahlo's miscarriages. It also explains the theme of many of her works.

Nailed to her bed for several months, she began to paint and her mother installed a mirror above her bed. This is how she began to make her famous self-portraits, including "Self-Portrait in a Velvet Dress" in 1926.

In 1928, her friend the photographer Tina Modotti encouraged her to join the Mexican Communist Party. Frida was particularly interested in the emancipation of women in the still very patriarchal Mexican society. The young woman decided at an early age that she did not want to follow the same path as most Mexican women. She has a desire to travel, to study. She wanted freedom and pleasure.

Frida Kahlo married the renowned artist Diego Rivera, 21 years her senior, on 21 August 1929. They set up a studio in Mexico City, but Diego soon cheated on her. She herself engaged in numerous extramarital and bisexual relationships. Although complicated, the relationship between Frida and Diego was truly passionate.

In November 1930, the couple moved to San Francisco, where Rivera was commissioned to paint murals for the San Francisco Stock Exchange and the California School of Fine Art, and where Frida met artists, sponsors and patrons.

But she suffered two miscarriages in 1930 and 1932. She painted "Henry Ford Hospital or the Flying Bed" during her convalescence. After this painful episode, Frida Kahlo painted pictures that reflected her weariness and disgust with the United States and Americans, while her husband remained fascinated by this country and did not want to leave it.

In December 1933, Diego Rivera agreed to return to Mexico. In 1938, Frida Kahlo met André Breton in Mexico City. Thanks to him, that same year, she was able to exhibit her paintings in Julien Levy's gallery in New York. She sold many paintings.

In 1953, a first exhibition of her work was organised in Mexico City. But during the summer, her right leg had to be amputated. Frida Kahlo died on 13 July 1954 in Coyoacán at the age of 47, leaving behind several hundred works, some of which are very important, such as "A Few Little Punctures" (1935) and "The Broken Column" (1944).


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