Frida Fridays: 12 Little Known Facts That Defined Frida Kahlo
Illustration By Nuestro Stories
Mexican Artist and Feminist Icon Frida Kahlo created daring art which pushed the limits – known for being deeply personal and reflecting her own experiences of severe pain and many emotions.
She dared to show her physical and emotional struggles with the world, at a time when women just didn’t do such things. But, she actually didn’t want to even be an artist when she was growing up. She wanted to be a doctor. Then life got in the way, as it often does.
Here are 12 more interesting facts that you may have not known about one of the world’s most recognizable women: Frida Kahlo:
Frida Kahlo lied about her birthday! The artist was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacan, Mexico City, but she often said she was born in 1910. She chose “3 years after her actual birth, so that people would directly associate her with the Mexican Revolution that began in 1910,” FridaKahlo.org explains.
“Frida” was not her name. She had three first names: Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón.
She died where she was born. The artist was born in what La Casa Azul (the Blue House), a home she returned to with her husband Diego Rivera. The home is now a museum.
She was half German. Frida’s father was Carl Wilhelm Kahlo, renamed Guillermo Kahlo, of Hungarian descent.
She suffered from chronic pain. She had over 32 surgeries to try to fix her back from a severe trolley accident when she was 18.
She was self taught. Frida took up painting after her trolley accident, while she was still in bed recovering, to get her mind off of her chronic pain.
Frida fell in love with an older man. She met Artist Diego Rivera when he was painting a mural at her school. They married when she was 22 and he was 42.
Frida hated her smile. It’s believed that Frida didn’t smile because she didn’t like her teeth.
Frida lived and worked in the United States. Thanks to her husband’s work as an artist, Frida briefly lived in San Francisco and Detroit, two American cities which still display her art.
She married, divorced, and remarried the love of her life. The husband and wife had marriage problems, including many affairs, but, after divorcing in 1939, they remarried in 1940.
Frida never had children. It’s believed the trolley accident, that damaged the artist physically and emotionally, contributed to miscarriages and her inability to have children.
She was famous in her lifetime. Among many art shows and accolades during her lifetime, the prestigious Paris museum The Louvre, acquired Kahlo’s painting The Frame (c. 1938), making her the first 20th-century Mexican artist to be included in the museum’s collection.