Video:Profile of Frida Kahlowith Milo De Prieto
Frida Kahlo, one of the 20th century's best artists, overcame personal tragedy, channeling it into profound works of art. Learn about this prolific artist's work and life in this bio from About.com.See Transcript
Transcript:Profile of Frida Kahlo
Hello, I'm Milo for About.com, and today we are talking about Frida Kahlo.
Frida Kahlo's Early Life
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter best known for her self portraits. Born in Coyoacán to Guillermo Kahlo and Matilde Calderón y Gonzales she liked to say that her birth date was July 7, 1910 when in reality she was born July 6, 1907. Her reason for lying about her birthdate is that she wanted to be associated with the Mexican revolution of 1910.
Frida Kahlo's Health Problems
Kahlo suffered life long health problems. At age 6 she contracted polio which damaged one of her legs making it much thinner than the other. And later as a teenager she was involved in a serious traffic accident which left her bedridden for months. In the accident she broke her spinal column, her collarbone, her ribs, her pelvis and a handrail pierced her abdomen and uterus. It was during her recovery period after the accident that she began to paint. She is quoted to have said about her self portraits "I paint myself because I am often alone and because I am the subject I know best".
Frida Kahlo's Work
Many have described her fixation with self portraits as a sort of therapy to suffering and physical pain. The body surely was for Frida the center of any kind of thought, both about her internal self as a woman and artist, and her external experiences and environment.
Kahlo's work was not widely acclaimed until many years after her death. It was not until the early 1980s that she became well known to the public. Kahlo had a volatile marriage with the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera as both had irritable tempers. Both engaged in numerous extramarital affairs and in Kahlo's case with both men and women. The couple divorced in 1939 only to remarry in 1940. Their second marriage was just as troubled as the first.
A central part of her psyche, her father built La Casa Azul, or the Blue House in 1907 and it became the family home where Frida grew up and to which she returned in her final years. Kahlo died in 1954 of pneumonia and, after Diego Rivera's death three years later, the house was donated and became a museum.
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