Frido Kahlo is, without a doubt, one of the more well-known of Mexico’s artists and women of note. Her self-portraits are recognized world-wide.
Born in 1907 in Mexico City, daughter of a German-born father and a mother of mixed Mexican indigenous-Spanish heritage, Frida’s life story is one filled with pain. She contracted polio at the age of six and later, at eighteen, suffered a serious bus accident which left her with further extensive disabilities and pain throughout her life. As a result of the accident, Frida was forced to undergo over thirty operations and withstand periods of immobility and great pain, both physical and emotional. It was in 1925, during her time of recuperation when she was largely bedridden, that Frida began to paint.
Frida Kahlo met Mexican artist and muralist Diego Rivera in 1928 while seeking his opinion on her art, and they were wedded in 1929. They shared similarity of interest both in the art and heritage of their native Mexico and in their left-wing political and cultural viewpoints.
Arq. Arturo Macias has styled his near life-sized figure of Frida Kahlo after one of her own self-portraits in which her wracked and ruined body appears strapped and pieced together after her disabling accident. In this sculpture, Fridas spine is painfully exposed, formed from a classical column which was originally part of a sixteenth century sculpture of a saint.
Frida’s blank face and otherwise unadorned abdomen are riven through with spikes, a vivid representation of the intense personal suffering and anguish that held her hostage throughout her life.
I paint myself because I am often alone and I am the subject I know best. — Frida Kahlo
March 2004: Frida Kahlo now resides in the personal collection of Alison and Colin MacArther, Toronto, Canada.