“You deserve the best, the very best, because you are one of the few people in this lousy world who are honest to themselves, and that is the only thing that really counts.” – Frida Kahlo
Hello to all you lovely people.
Here is my first article for all of you.Today’s long article is about a bisexual, rebellious but really inspiring & strong Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo.
“I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.” – Frida Kahlo
Frida was born in Mexico on the 6th of July, 1907 to a German father Guillermo Kahlo & a mestiza mother Matilde Calderon Y Gonzalez. At the age of six she contracted Polio due to which her right leg looked shorter & thinner than her left. She was very close to her father & credited him for her “marvelous” childhood. She had the dream of becoming a doctor until the life- changing & most disturbing accident she face at the age of eighteen. Due to the accident her spine was broken, ribs were fractured, shoulder dislocated & the most devastating was the injuries she suffered throughout her life of her severely injured reproductive organs that includes a punctured uterus thus, ending her dream of becoming a doctor. The scars & injuries of this accident affected her life in innumerable ways, which she later bravely expressed in her paintings. As the dream of becoming a doctor no longer existed she decided to paint. She started socializing & joined the Mexican Communist Party (PCM).
Diego Rivera, a notable figure in the Mexican Communist Party as well as an artist was impressed by her work, & addressed her as an authentic artist. Frida & Diego got into a relationship soon though he was 42 years old, & a self- confessed womaniser. Her parents referred to their marriage as a “marriage between an elephant & a dove”. During her stay in Cuernavaco, she started to draw inspiration from the Mexican folk art that thus became her artist style, until her last breath. She later had to spend a year in Detroit, she loathed the place & lifestyle thus feeling very homesick. Also during her stay here, she had a miscarriage that left her feeling even more depressed.
“I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.” – Frida Kahlo
Moments like these made her feel even more broken. Her most devastating emotional breakdown was when she divorced Diego Rivera. The duration of their divorce crippled her emotionally. She said,
“There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.” – Frida Kahlo
They remarried in the year 1940 after a couple of more affairs by both which included Diego getting into an affair with Frida’s younger sister Christina. This remarriage also did not give her the happiness & peace she wished for, resulting in increase of illnesses & also in worsening her past injuries. Her last breakdown happened when the operation of bone grafting for her spine ended up being a failure. In the year 1953 her right leg had to be amputated due to gangrene for which she convinced herself by saying the following lines.
“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” – Frida Kahlo
Her last days were the most difficult as Diego began yet another affair knowing this she tried to commit suicide worsening her situation even more. Her last words were
“I hope the exit is joyful. And I hope never to return.” – Frida Kahlo
She expired on the 13th July, 1954, that again is said to be a suicide probably to end the extreme physical & emotional pain she bore right from the age of six. As per her wish she was cremated & not buried because she once said that she has been lying flat for most of her life & hence be cremated. Within three years of Frida’s death, Diego too expired.
Frida was a feminist, communist, as well as an extremely frank, expressive & strong artist ever known in history that too being a woman. Her fashion style inspired the then famous fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli & was also featured in the Vogue magazine.
Her nature has yet being an inspiration for people everywhere. The work she has done though may not be much but is more than enough for the students worldwide to learn from. She was bold to express her pain in a very crude form not caring if it turns out to be very horrifying for her audience to watch. Her feelings for Diego may it be her immense love or anger towards him are an excellent example for the artists to be free while they are working. Her paintings like “The Two Frida’s” , ” The Broken Column”, “Henry Ford Hospital”, “My Nurse & I”, “The suicide of Dorothy Hale”, “Self Portrait with Braid”, “Me & My Doll”, “Tree of Hope, Remain Strong”, “Roots”, & many more; though symbolic but directly express her emotions on her experiences. Her paintings also play an important role in inspiring & setting trends in Fashion.
Until the end Frida set examples on living your life by setting your own rules, being happy in every situation because do remember she was a party- animal too. She smartly turned her pain very beautifully into very impressive & almost talking like paintings.
Lastly quoting her,
“I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.” – Frida Kahlo
So here it is to you all to be happy in your own skin & forever be in an unconditional love with oneself in thick & thin. The main reason I wrote this entire article is to help all you lovely people to know that your all warriors in disguise. We all have many wars to fight almost every moment we are alive & we all are broken in someway or the other, yet what keeps us going is the zeal to become better than yesterday. Frida was full of immense strength & hope that you all can take inspiration from, just like I did. You can keep brooding till the end of time but what counts is how you deal with the bad circumstances than the brooding you choose.