Essay on Frida Kahlo: A Life In Pain

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Frida Kahlo: A Life in Pain
“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my reality,” said Frida Kahlo describing her art work (Frida Kahlo n.d.). Kahlo was a Mexican artist from the mid-20th century. She was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacan, Mexico, and the daughter of German and Mexican descendants (Lucie-Smith 1999). During her lifetime Kahlo embarked on many hardships caused by illness, heartache, and love. She became known for her haunting self portraits, radical politics, and that infamous unibrow (Stephen 2008).
The turmoil began early for this young woman. At age six, she was stricken with polio, which left her walking with a limp. From the beginning Kahlo did not intend to become an artist.
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One in which a street car knocked me down… the other accident is Diego” (Frida Kahlo n.d.). Rivera was a very charismatic guy standing at above six feet tall and between two hundred and three hundred pounds. Unfortunately he wasn’t the best looking man out there. Kahlo is said to have called him ‘frog.’ His looks didn’t hold him back from being a womanizer. There was something about his aura that attracted women. People considered their marriage “between an elephant and a dove.” Kahlo understood that painting was Rivera’s prime element. For a while she stopped painting and focused her time to Rivera to show that all her attention was on him. She became a bit obsessed. In her diary Kahlo wrote:
“Diego, nothing compares to your hands nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. You are the mirror of the night. The violent flash of lightning. The dampness of the earth. The hallow of your armpits is my shelter. My fingertips touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mines keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours (Kahlo 2001).”
Through their marriage there was constant infidelity from his part including an affair with Kahlo’s sister, Christina. Kahlo retracted by doing the same sometimes with other women. Her love life was her biggest inspiration. Kahlo painted the only subject she knew, herself (Stephen

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