Almost sixty years after her death, one of Mexico’s greatest artists, Frida Kahlo, continues to inspire me and new generations of women artists. It’s not just her art, but her determination in the face of great adversity (Frida underwent 30 operations in her lifetime after being impaled by a piece of metal when the bus she was riding in collided with a trolley car in 1925). Many of the exquisite paintings she did while confined to her bed, recuperating, over the years.
She also had a great personal style, wearing colourful traditional Mexican clothing, jewelry and flowers in her hair.
The bottom photo below is her 1929 wedding photo to famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and a photo of her seated on a white bench; the classic Frida shot was taken by her lover, Nickolas Mury.
Also, I’ve included a link to a fabulous home movie (in colour) showing Frida and Diego together; it was shot by Mury, a former lover of Frida. Click here to see the home movie of Frida and Diego, which includes a voice-over of Frida’s diary, professing her deepest love for Diego.
The second movie (below) starts with a candid moment of Frida sketching, and later shows film footage of Leon Trotsky and his wife – Frida had a short-lived affair with Trotsky when he fled from Russia, believing Stalin was trying to kill him. The Trotskys lived for a time with Frida and Diego; Trotsky was assassinated after he left their home in Mexico.
In the coming days, I plan to paint one of my favourite Frida self-portraits on a T-shirt to celebrate this amazing artist and her enduring spirit.
I paint my shirts in the store, Angel of Vancouver, so you can drop by and see how it’s coming along.