Public Domain

Photograph of a street performer dressed as Frida Khalo showcasing her artwork.

Frida Kahlo

On July 6, 1907, a world of opportunity for art and interpretation opened up. This is the day Frida Kahlo was born. Frida was born in Mexico City and lived much of her youth bedridden due to polio. However, Frida used her negative experiences as opportunities to create art and emit emotion. In 1925, Kahlo was struck by a bus leaving her seriously injured. 

Kahlo took advantage of her isolation by painting. Most commonly and famously Kahlo created self-portraits and artwork depicting her childhood home. 

Kahlo’s art was especially special to individuals with indigenous Mexican heritage. Her use of vibrant colors and symbolism has been admired by many. 

“That bus accident eliminated her ability to have children…it took that from her, being a part of Mexican culture, children and family and that expectation for women is very strong, that was a loss for her,” LSHS art teacher Willow Kosbab said. 

In light of women’s history month, it is also relevant that we discuss the portrayal of feminism that was expressed through her various art pieces. For example, Kahlo’s Henry Ford’s Hospital piece depicts Kahlo when she experienced a miscarriage in 1932. 

This touching piece may seem disturbing to some, but those with an artistic eye recognize the beauty of Kahlo’s emotions. It was common for Kahlo to convey topics that were seen as taboo for her time. 

Despite the inevitability of harsh criticism, Kahlo continued to paint freely and truthfully. 

“She stands out as a female artist at a time when it was a male-dominated industry completely…painting was something that helped her mentally and emotionally express what was going on inside,” Kosbab said. 

Frida passed in July of 1954 but continues to leave a legacy. Some of her work can be visited at the Museo Frida Kahlo in the Mexican city of Coyoacan as well as within the National Museum of Women in Arts located in Washington D.C. 

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