Frida Kahlo: Was she the first to understand the power of a selfie?

What life did Frida Kahlo have? Why did Frida paint herself? You’ll find out everything you wanted to know about Frida here right now!

frida kahlo

Frida Kahlo is the most famous female Mexican artist, whose creativity has become spread around the world. This article tells about her extremely tragic fate and bright mind, interesting paintings and love to her husband.

Fida Kahlo artist

frida kahlo painting

Communist, a fan of curse words, eccentric and expressive Frida, who always loved to laugh, smoke and drink tequila, became well-known to public shortly before her death. Nowadays Frida Kahlo paintings are very expensive and worth millions of dollars. Nonetheless, her fate and life was not so simple.

When she was 6 years old, little girl suffered polio. The disease has dried up Frida's right leg, so lifelong Kahlo limped leg and hid it under the trousers or long national skirts or dresses. Peers always teased her ‘Frida wooden leg’. Then, when she was 12, she got into a horrible car accident. A tram crashed into the bus in which Frida was going with her friend Alejandro.

Frida in wheelchair

Alejandro got off easy and Frida suffered so much that all the doctors were unanimous in very disappointing forecasts. Iron rod flashed her stomach and pelvis, forever depriving her of the ability to have kids.

Frida survived despite everything. But everything inside her left crippled. The long years in a cast, thirty-two operations, and a wheelchair, endless pain – not everyone could hold all of this. The only pleasure was art.

Frida Kahlo art. The first steps in art and painting.

young frida kahlo

READ ALSO: Who are top African graffiti artists?

The small mirror over her bed and a special stretcher, which allowed her paint lying, were her true friends. Frida constantly painted self-portraits, because in deed she was the only thing Frida could see, being bedridden. Because of the popular main stream people began saying that Frida was the first, who understood the power of a selfie. However, an artist had her own explanation.

‘I'm painting myself, because I spend a lot of time alone, and because it is the only one subject that I know best’.

Some years later, after difficult recovering from the accident, she came to the artist Diego Rivera to show her all self-portraits created over the years that she spent in her bed, clad in a hated orthopedic corset. Surprisingly the paintings of Frida Kahlo impressed Diego, the famous artist said:

‘They passed the vibrant sensuality, which complemented the ruthless, but extremely sensitive ability to observe. It was clear that this girl was a born artist’.

Frida in bed

At that moment a passionate Rivera had already divorced with his second wife, so nothing could stop him to have an affair with twenty years old artist, who was very witty, weird, courageous and, of course, talented. It was really impossible not to fall in love with an outstanding intellect of Frida.

Diego was 20 years older than her, scary and huge. Hair growing in clumps, bulging with excitement, or, on the contrary, covered with swollen eye lids – he didn’t look very good. He was always adored by women. Diego told about that, but he once admitted: ‘The more I love women, the more I want to make them suffer’.

‘In my life there were two accidents: one - when the bus crashed into a tram, another - is Diego’, - Frida said.

frida painting

And maybe the most popular painting on this topic is ‘Just a few shots’. There you can see a bloody bed and a man with a knife in his hand standing over the prostrate Frida's body.

Diego cheated on his wife a lot of times. ‘I tried to drown my sorrows, but these bastards have learned to swim...’ - and she began to cheat too. Diego was jealous and extremely furious - it was not possible to her, what he allowed himself. After about 5 years of scandals, tears, accusations and quarrels the couple divorced, however only a year later they married again.

just a few shots

The idea of Kahlo paintings is always encrypted in details, different background, figures, which appear next to the image of Frida. Sometimes next to two Friedas. She often had seemed divided. It is before and after the accident. She is suffering and she is calm. Almost always in public, she was happy, cheerful, laughing loudly, using curse words, drinking, smoking, and behaving as if she is for real the happiest person in the world. But her true inner feelings only found a way out in her pictures and diary.

Frida and Diego kissing

Most of all in her life talented Frida loved life itself and it was like a magnet, which attracted to her different men and women. And despite the excruciating constant physical pain, she always sparkled with humor, she could laugh to the point of exhaustion, poke fun at herself, have fun like for the last time. And only taking a brush or pencil, she let herself to think about and imagine the inevitable. She wanted a baby, but a horrible injury did not let her to have kids. Three of pregnancies - and it was a real exploit in her state - ended tragically.

Frida's diary

During the last 10 years of her life Frida was writing a diary and managed to fill with text and pictures 170 pages that became her heritage. It spent 40 years in the Mexican authorities' secret closed document archive before it was published. Well, 170 pages with collages and watercolors, memories of childhood, the records of the disease and painful love to her husband – everything was there.

Name Diego was found more often than other words in her diary. She suffered because she could not find the proper words to tell him all about her love feelings, because they were inexpressible.

‘Diego – beginning, Diego - my child, Diego - my friend, Diego – an artist, Diego - my father, Diego - my lover, Diego - my husband, Diego - my mother, Diego - myself, Diego is everything’.

viva la vida of Frida

In 1950, she underwent 7 more surgeries on the spine. Unfortunately, she had to spend 9 months in a hospital and since then she forever remained in the wheelchair. Also in 1953, only a year before Frida's death, the doctors amputated her right leg to stop the dangerous gangrene. Exactly at the same time Frida opened her debut solo exhibition in her Mexico City. Frida arrived on the ambulance with siren to the opening. She smiled, one hand constantly had a cigarette, the other one - a bottle of tequila and in her hair she has a flower, in the laughter there was joy and irony.

One week before his death, artist painted ‘Long live life!’ or ‘Viva la vida!’ - bright still life, which has presented her attitude to life and death.

frida with diego

However she still succeeded to find the needed words in which she expressed his love to husband Diego Rivera:

'... In the saliva

a paper

in eclipse

in all lines

in all colors

in all pitchers

in my chest

outside, inside ...

DIEGO in my mouth in my heart in my madness in my dream in blotting paper in the tip of the pen in pencils in the landscapes in food in the metal in the imagination in the disease in the windows in his tricks in his eyes, in his mouth, in his lies’.

She wrote these words on a small piece of paper. Her beloved Diego had received it only a few days before she died.

Your comment
Add image

By posting your comment, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.