Interior: Viva la Vida - "Long Live Life" - name of last painting
Frida Kahlo Synopsis Breviate
Mexican painter Frida Kahlo was born in 1907 in Coyoacán, which at the time was a small town on the outskirts of Mexico City. Her father, Guillermo Kahlo, was a painter and photographer of German-Jewish background. The young Frida suffered a bout of polio at age six, effecting her right leg. Still, with the feisty and brash personality that she kept throughout her life, she overcame her disability. In 1925, a trolley car collided with a bus Kahlo was riding and an iron handrail impaled her, breaking her spine. She survived her injuries and eventually regained her ability to walk, but she would have relapses of extreme pain throughout her life. After the accident, Kahlo turned her attention from a medical career to painting. Drawing on her personal experiences, her works are often shocking in their stark portrayal of pain and the harsh lives of women. Fifty-five of her 143 paintings are self-portraits that incorporate personal symbolism and graphic anatomical references. She was also influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, aspects of which she portrayed in bright colors, with a mixture of realism and symbolism. Although Kahlo's work is sometimes classified as surrealist and she did exhibit several times with European surrealists, she disputed the label. Her paintings attracted the attention of the artist Diego Rivera, whom she later married, divorced, and re-married. The couple's marriage was very unstable yet passionate. An active Communist supporter, Kahlo allegedly had an affair with Leon Trotsky. Kahlo died in 1954. Her ashes were placed in a pre-Columbian urn which is on display in her former home La Casa Azul in Coyoacán, which has been turned into a museum.