Frida Kahlo

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Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón (6 July 1907 – 13 July 1954), usually known as Frida Kahlo, was a Mexican painter. She was known for her surreal and very personal works. She was married to Diego Rivera, also a well-known painter.

She was born in Coyoacán, Mexico. She had polio that left her disabled when she was 6 years old and some people think that she may have had spina bifida (a birth defect affecting the development of part of the spine) as well. She studied medicine and was going to become a doctor. Because of a traffic accident at age 18 which badly injured her, she had periods of severe pain for the rest of her life. After this accident, Kahlo no longer continued her medical studies but took up painting. She used ideas about things that had happened to her. Her paintings are often shocking in the way they show pain and the harsh lives of women, especially her feelings about not being able to have children. Fifty-five of her 143 paintings are of herself. She was also influenced by native Mexican culture, shown in bright colors, with a mixture of realism and symbolism. Her paintings attracted the attention of the artist Diego Rivera, whom she later married. She was openly bisexual and was a communist.[1] She died of a pulmonary embolism in Coyoacán.

Kahlo's work is sometimes called "surrealist", and although she organized art shows several times with European surrealists, she herself did not like that label.[source?] Her attention to female themes, and the honesty in her painting them, made her something of a feminist cult figure in the last decades of the 20th century. Some of her work is seen at the Frida Kahlo Museum, found in her birthplace and home in suburban Mexico City.

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