The artist Frida Kahlo was classified as one of the great Mexican artists of the 21st century. Her work began, essentially, as self-portraits, inspired by the serious injury she suffered in a bus accident. Her paintings were exhibited in Paris and Mexico before her death in 1954. As one of the most iconic artists of recent decades, Frida Kahlo has a life story that has become almost as popular as her art.
A fame that grew long after her death
Kahlo was successful during her lifetime, but her work at the time was often dismissed as that of “Diego Rivera’s wife. It was not until a few years after her death that her work was widely acclaimed. Her reputation grew in the 1970s and reached what some critics call “Fridamania” in the 21st century. Over the years, her work has continued to grow in value, especially with her famous piece Two Nudes in a Forest.
Her life, marked by her accident, a troubled marriage, her love affairs, and her addiction to drugs, has inspired many books and films over the years, including a biographical film released in 2002.
Works influenced by her experience and origins
Drawing on personal experiences, Kahlo’s works are often characterized by their stark depictions of pain. Of her 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits that often incorporate symbolic representations of physical and psychological wounds.
Furthermore, Kahlo was deeply influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, which is evident in her use of bright colors and dramatic symbolism. She frequently included the symbolic monkey. In Mexican mythology, monkeys are symbols of lust, but Kahlo described them as tender and protective symbols. Christian and Jewish themes are also often represented in her work.
An artist who has become a feminist icon
After her death, the rise of feminism in the 1970s led Frida to become a feminist and LGBTQI icon.
The artist’s work has been widely praised for being deeply personal and for showing insight into the female experience. She has also been praised for capturing her natural unibrow and other facial hair that speaks to many gender roles and body positivity. Her fierce pride in her Mexican roots has also contributed to her fame.