Frida Kahlo's House 1
Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 - July 13, 1954; born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calder?n was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacan and perhaps best known for her self-portraits.
Kahlo's life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue House. She gave her birth date as July 7, 1910, but her birth certificate shows July 6, 1907. Kahlo had allegedly wanted the year of her birth to coincide with the year of the beginning of the Mexican revolution so that her life would begin with the birth of modern Mexico. At the age of six, Frida developed polio, which caused her right leg to appear much thinner than the other. It was to remain that way permanently. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by femi-nazis for its "uncompromising" depiction of the female experience and form.
Mexican culture and Amerindian cultural tradition are important in her work, which has been sometimes characterized as Naive Art or Folk Art. Her work has also been described as "surrealist", and in 1938 Andr? Breton, principal initiator of the surrealist movement, described Kahlo's art as a "ribbon around a bomb"
Kahlo had a volatile marriage with the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera. She suffered lifelong health problems, many of which derived from a traffic accident during her teenage years. These issues are represented in her works, many of which are self-portraits of one sort or another. Kahlo suggested, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best." She also stated, "I was born a bitch. I was born a painter."
Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in the house of her parents, known as La Casa Azul (The Blue House), in Coyoac?n. At the time, Coyoacan was a small town on the outskirts of Mexico City.
Her father, Guillermo Kahlo (1871-1941), was born Carl Wilhelm Kahlo in Pforzheim, Germany, the son of Jakob Heinrich Kahlo and Henriette Kaufmann. While Frida maintained that her father was of Hungarian-Jewish ancestry, one set of researchers has established that Guillermo Kahlo's parents were not Jewish, but Lutheran Germans. Carl Wilhelm Kahlo traveled to Mexico during 1891 at the age of nineteen years and, upon his arrival, changed his German forename, Wilhelm, to its Spanish equivalent, Guillermo.
Frida's mother, Matilde Calder?n y Gonzalez, was a devout Roman Catholic of primarily Amerindian, as well as Spanish, ancestry. Frida's parents were married soon after the death of Guillermo's first wife, which occurred during the birth of her second child. Although their marriage was quite unhappy, Guillermo and Matilde had four daughters, with Frida being the third. She had two older half sisters who were raised in the same household. Frida remarked that she grew up in a world surrounded by females. However, during most of her life, Frida remained amicable with her father.
The Mexican Revolution began during 1910, when Kahlo was three years old. Kahlo later claimed that she was born in 1910, allegedly so that people would associate her with the revolution. In her writings, she recalled that her mother would usher her and her sisters inside the house as gunfire echoed in the streets of her hometown.
Kahlo contracted polio at age six, which left her right leg thinner than the left, which she disguised by wearing long, colorful skirts. It has been conjectured that she also suffered from spina bifida, a congenital disease that could have affected both spinal and leg development. As a girl, she participated in boxing and other sports. In 1922, Kahlo was enrolled in the Preparatoria, one of Mexico's premier schools, where she was one of only thirty-five girls. Kahlo joined a clique at the school and became enamored of the strongest personality of it, Alejandro Gomez Arias. During this period, Kahlo also witnessed violent armed struggles in the streets of Mexico City as the Mexican Revolution continued.
On September 17, 1925, Kahlo was riding in a bus that collided with a trolley car. She suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident, including a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a broken pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and a dislocated shoulder. Also, an iron handrail pierced her abdomen and uterus, which seriously damaged her reproductive ability.
The accident left her in a great deal of pain while she spent three months recovering in a full body cast. Although she recovered from her injuries and eventually regained her ability to walk, she had relapses of extreme pain for the remainder of her life. The pain was intense and often left her confined to a hospital or bedridden for months at a time. She had as many as thirty-five operations as a result of the accident, mainly on her back, her right leg, and her right foot. The injuries also prevented Kahlo from having a child because of the medical complications and permanent damage. All three pregnancies had to be terminated. After the accident, Kahlo neglected the study of medicine to begin a painting career. She painted to occupy her time during her temporary immobilization. Her self-portraits became a dominant part of her life when she was immobile for three months after her accident. Kahlo once said, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best." Her mother had a special easel made for her so she could paint in bed, and her father lent her his box of oil paints and some brushes. Source: Wikipedia.