Modern Art - Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter

Frida Kahlo stands out as one of the most gifted, and at times controversial, painters of the twentieth century. For Frida Kahlo, self-portraiture was a personal ritual that helped exorcise the turmoil in her life. Kahlo's life was plagued by accidents and illness. Her many self-portraits focus on her intense personal history and her troubled state-of mind.

Her rise came in the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution. At the time, she was married to Diego Rivera, a staunch socialist, who sought to immortalize the ideals of his country's revolution through his murals.

Personal tragedy brought Frida Kahlo to painting. A bus accident when she was eighteen left Kahlo with badly broken bones. Recurrent pain and surgery forced her to spend endless days in bed. To soothe herself, she painted.

Kahlo's physical torment intermingled with her fierce, independent nature to feed her mysterious and alluring paintings.

Frida Kahlo fused a style derived from traditional Spanish-American art with the experimentations of the Surrealists. She participated fully in the politics and art of Mexico when both the history and the art of the nation were particularly vibrant.