“I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy as long as I can paint.”
It’s been over 40 years since her death, but Frida Kahlo remains one of, if not the most, iconic female in Mexican history.
With International Women’s Day last week, we thought it was fitting to take a look at the icon of feminism and freedom and all she did for the women of Mexico.
Born in Coyoacan, Mexico in 1907, Kahlo suffered a great deal of physical and emotional pain in her life. Contracting polio from a young age, and suffering serious injuries from a bus crash when she was 18 she was often left bedridden and immobilised for month at a time. Despite her bodily pain and suffering, she pursued her passion of painting and became one of Latin America’s most famous painters.
A passionate yet tumultuous marriage to fellow artist Diego Rivera was the subject for many of her artworks. After years of infidelity and arguments, although very much in love with Diego, Frida made the decision to move out and live independently.
Frida found strength in her identity as a Mexican, as an artist and as a woman. She broke boundaries that many Latina women faced and embraced her talents despite the hinderances she suffered. Not many women could have had the tenacity and grit to deal with the difficulties and pain she experienced but still living her lief to the fullest.
It speaks volumes of her inner strength and character that her husband, Diego Rivera, said: “Frida is the only example in the history of art of an artist who tore open her chest and heart to reveal the biological truth of her feelings. The only woman who has expressed in her work an art of the feelings, functions, and creative power of woman.”