Frida Kahlo, a well known Mexican artist was often called a Surrealist because of her bizarre and disturbing paintings. Unlike Surrealists, she wasn’t interested in subject matter from dreams. She painted multiple self–portraits which expressed her inner emotions.
Frida’s canvas oil paintings are rich in bright vibrant color. She explained the meaning of some of her colors: green – good warm light, magenta – old blood of a pear, brown – color of mole, yellow – madness, sickness and fear, cobalt blue – electricity and pure love, red – blood.
Frida’s life consisted of more suffering then joy. When she was 18, she was in an horrific bus accident colliding with a trolley car. Her spinal column had multiple fractures, her right leg had eleven fractures and her right foot was crushed. She was impaled by a metal pole. During her convalescence, while in a body cast, she started painting. This photo shows her painting on her cast. The photo is in black and white. The colors she painted on her cast were vibrantly bright.
At the age of 22 she married the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera who was 20 older than she. Their dysfunctional marriage was unconventional and problematic. They fought with volatile tempers. Their union survived several affairs (on both their parts) but Frida could not forgive his affair with her younger sister. They divorced in 1939 only to remarry a year later. Kahlo’s painting Two Fridas recorded the emotions surrounding her marital crisis. On the right is the Frida Diego loved. Her heart is whole and she holds an amulet bearing the portrait of Diego as a child. On the left is the Frida Diego abandoned. It shows her broken heart. She died in 1954 at age 47.