Picture Mexico City, 1907.
A baby girl was born with the name of Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón, or Frida Kahlo for short.
This child would go on to be one of the most influential female artists of all time, and her endurance would be an inspiration to the world for ages to come.
"They thought I was a surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality."-Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo’s paintings largely draw on Mexican culture and the unfiltered human experience. Art historians often describe her work as being influenced by surrealism, or sometimes magical realism. Her life is a testament to creativity, and how art is a powerful tool of catharsis through the journey of life.
Frida faced unique challenges from a very young age, being diagnosed with polio as a child, and then having the misfortune of being in a bus accident at the age of 18. These events caused her a whirlwind of physical and emotional pain, in addition to medical challenges and dozens of operations throughout her life. During her recovery process she took up her childhood pastime of painting, even though she was in a body cast.
Frida found freedom through art, channeling the challenges of human experience into pure creativity. She spent the majority of her life painting, drawing, and sketching. She is most well known for her self-portraits, which comprise 55 of her 143 paintings.
"I paint self-portraits because I am the person I know best. I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other considerations."-Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo has become one of the most renowned painters in human history, being the first Mexican artist to have a painting sell past the million dollar mark. Her self-portrait titled Roots was sold for over 5.5 million dollars at Sotheby’s in 2006, and another titled Two Nudes in the Forest (The Earth Itself) sold for 8 million dollars in 2016.
A rare occurrence for artists, Frida Kahlo achieved celebrity status during her lifetime. Little did anyone know her reach would extend to the edges of the planet shortly after her death at age 47. Frida’s creative vision, perseverance, and strength will go on to inspire and empower women, artists and dreamers across the face of the earth. The deep and rich expressions woven within her paintings will continue to influence global art culture for aeons to come, and her legacy will encourage humans walking the journey of life to find freedom through art, no matter the circumstances.