I was still a child the first time I saw one of Frida Kahlo's paintings and I've been transfixed ever since. When I was younger, it was the accuracy of her vibrant self-portraits that captivated me. But as I grew older, and endured much trauma, I was drawn to her expression of pain. You can tell from Kahlo's paintings that she is fluent in the language of suffering, and her visual representations of it have the unique quality of being literal while still nuanced. Kahlo was a Mexican artist who at the time she painted the most, was married to a larger-than-life Mexican muralist named Diego Rivera. As a child, she survived a horrible bus accident which left her with severe life-long injuries and would eventually paralyze her. That, coupled with her husband's flagrant infidelity and her many miscarriages, would have destroyed most people. But Kahlo's indomitable spirit allowed her to create meaningful, nuanced art that communicated her struggles. She remains celebrated for her art, her carefree life and feminism. Read more for my favorite paintings and a tour of an exhibition I saw of hers at the Brooklyn Museum.
Frida Kahlo, pictured above working on a painting of her father.
An early piece that Kahlo painted of the bus she had the infamous accident on.
One of Kahlo's earlier paintings of herself, and husband Diego Rivera.
One of my favorite Kahlo pieces that she painted after her husband slept with her sister and they divorced (they would remarry). In her paintings below, she captured her spinal injury, miscarriages and herself as wheelchair bound after the surgeries she had to correct her bus injury left her paralyzed.
I was blessed to see the below Frida Kahlo exhibit, "Looks can be deceiving" last year at the Brooklyn Museum. But for those who did not get the opportunity, you can see it here from the de Young Museum.