Frida Kahlo: How the Iconic Mexican Artist Made History
As one of Mexico's greatest artists, Frida Kahlo initially dreamed of attending medical school until a traffic accident changed her life. After she survived the collision, she turned to a career in art. Now, the iconic painter is famous for her courageous and remarkable masterpieces that are featured in major institutions around the world. She also became an important figure for the feminist movement and the LGBTQ+ movement. Read on to learn how the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo made history.
The Queen of Self-Portraits
Of Frida Kahlo's 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits, so it's clear why she's known as a master in her work. The artist's personal experiences — including her marriage, miscarriages and poor physical health — inspired many of her paintings. In fact, she began painting after she was severely injured in a bus crash. Her injuries caused a lifetime of pain and medical issues.
She Had Fierce Pride in Her Mexican Culture
Kahlo lived all around the world, from New York and San Francisco to Detroit and Paris. However, she frequently returned to her hometown, Mexico City. Her deep love for her Mexican culture influenced her art and fashion.
She's More Famous Than Her Husband (Now)
During Kahlo's career, she was quite unknown as an artist and was overshadowed by her husband, the painter Diego Rivera. Rivera was a respected artist while Kahlo was called "Wife of the Master Mural Painter." Their controversial marriage fascinated the world due to their appearances, age difference and infidelities.
Kahlo Rose as a Feminist and an LGBTQ+ Icon After Death
Kahlo passed away in 1954, but her legacy continued far into the future. The feminist movement in the 1970s reignited interest in her work. Feminists found her personal art inspirational because she showed self-love, persisted through her struggles and wasn't afraid to be different.
Her Work Broke Records Multiple Times
In 1939, Kahlo hosted an exhibition in Paris. By the end of the event, the Louvre purchased her painting, "The Frame." Kahlo became the first Mexican artist featured in a major international collection.
Kahlo Influenced the Fashion World
Kahlo impacted more than just the art world. She also became an influence in the fashion industry. Her unique style of colorful outfits inspired many designers, such as Raffaella Curiel, Maya Hansen, Jean Paul Gaultier and Dolce & Gabbana.