Frida Kahlo Biography - The Story of an Extraordinarily Courageous Painter

Frida Kahlo was a famous Mexico born painter who often painted her own portrait, depicting her painfully unstable and tragic life. Frida was one of the four daughters born to Hungarian-Jewish Father, Guillermo Kahlo, and the mother of Spanish-Mexican descent, Matilde Calderón y Gonzalez.
Frida Kahlo wanted to be a doctor; destiny had something else planned for her though. A Polio survivor, at the age of 15, Frida Kahlo joined the Premedical Program at the National Preparatory School in Mexico. As fate had it though, Kahlo met with a tragic bus accident, which ended her three years of training. In this accident, Frida Kahlo was gravely injured and she spent a year on bed recovering from the fractures of her Back, Collarbone& Ribs, Pelvis, and Shoulder & Foot injuries. In addition, an Iron Handrail pierced her Abdomen and Uterus, which seriously damaged Frida's reproductive ability. Despite the fact that she underwent 30 operations, Frida Kahlo spent the rest of her life in constant physical pain and trauma. At this point of time, her interests actually changed from being a doctor to being a full- fledged painter.
Since the accident left her in great deal of pain, Frida Kahlo expressed it through her paintings. She painted self-portraits to keep herself occupied during the three months she was bed-ridden. Frida Kahlo's mother furnished her a special Easel, customized to Frida's needs of painting in bed. Frida Kahlo's dad presented her with a box of Oil Paints and Brushes.
Kahlo had deep influence of Native Mexican and European Cultures, which is reflected through her use of Bright Colors and Dramatic Symbolism. Frida Kahlo's paintings also depict different Visual Art Styles including, Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism. In addition, symbolic representations such as, monkey, and Christian & Jewish influences can also be noted in Frida Kahlo's paintings.
At the age of 21, Frida Kahlo fell in love with a Mexican Muralist, Diego Rivera, who was 20 years elder to her. The couple eventually married in 1929. Their relationship witnessed several upheavals and survived through infidelities, the pressures of Rivera's career, a divorce & a remarriage, and most importantly Frida Kahlo's poor health. All this while, Kahlo continued to use her paintings as a medium to express the entire physical and psychological trauma that she went through. During the 1940s, Frida Kahlo enjoyed considerable success, as her first solo exhibition was held in New York. Frida Kahlo died on July 13, 1954, due to Pulmonary Embolism.
Frida Kahlo assumed soaring fame in the 80s with a number of books being published on her challenging life and her artworks, which also included an explosion of Kahlo-inspired films, plays, and calendars. All this soon transitioned Frida Kahlo's social stature from a struggling girl to an authentic cult figure. Her house, La Casa Azul, was posthumously converted into a museum that houses a number of her artworks and numerous relics of her personal life.
A great painter indeed, Frida Kahlo, through her paintings, exhibited her personal "painful" experiences, which included her marriage and the numerous operations. Definitely, Kahlo's artworks are a symbol of her great courageous spirit and her conviction to survive.