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Frida Kahlo

When she died at the age of 47 in 1954, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was relatively unknown outside of Mexico except as the wife of famed mural artist Diego Rivera. Today Frida Kahlo has not only achieved artistic recognition in her own right, but has become a kind of cultural icon, admired by artists, art critics, art buyers and film makers. She is also admired by many people who have only seen her work and image on coffee mugs, tote bags, posters, t-shirts and a U.S. postage stamp. Such is the state of contemporary culture. Kahlo=s art reflects her Mexican heritageBboth Euro-Mexican and Indian MexicanBas well as her incredible physical suffering. As Laura Mulvey noted, AFrida Kahlo=s paintings emerge directly out of her lifeBher physical suffering and her emotional suffering@ (91). In the words of art historian John Canady, a picture is Aan expression of its time, and also of the personality of the artist who painted it@ (37). In many ways, Kahlo=s art and life also marked a turning point in the history of the male dominated field of art. This paper will address issues relating to Kahlo=s life and work including the socio-political context and influences of gender.

Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907. In later years she gave her birth date as 1910, not to make herself younger, but to make her birth date more significant since 1910 was the year of the Mexican Revolution which promised democratic reforms. Her father, Wilhelm Kahl, was descended from Hungarian Jews and emigrated to Mexico from Germany in 1891 during the oppressive regime of General Portifino Diaz who had invited European businessmen and professionals to make Mexico Atheir new homeland@ (Garza 22). Like other immigrants, blue-eyed Wilhelm tried to assimilate into his new culture and changed his name to the more Spanish sounding Guillermo Kahlo to better fit in. He also married a Mexican woman of Indian ancestry who died during her second childbrth. His seco...

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Frida Kahlo. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:19, June 26, 2019, from