Born in 1907, July 6th in Coyoacan, Mexico, Frida Kahlo, is a well respected Mexican painter, a headstrong communist, a passionate lover, and a real fighter. She made the pain and suffering of her own disability the central subject of her paintings and expressed dark, disturbing thoughts with beauty and love. Many of her works are self-portraits telling good and bad stories of her life.
Frida was injured as a young girl in a bus accident and also survived the often deadly polio. She spent a lot of her girlhood alone in bed, stuck in a body cast which constricted movement from chest to waist. She used this time of solitude to draw, paint, and write poetry.
As a school girl, Frida encountered world renowned painter, Diego Rivera, who would change her life forever. Charmed right away by his off manner, passion, she fell in love with both Rivera and painting. One year later they were married.
According to Wikipedia, Kahlo's work was not widely recognized until decades after her death. It was not until the early 80s, when the artistic movement in Mexico known as Neomexicanismo began, that she became very prominent.
A few days before Frida Kahlo died on July 13, 1954, she wrote in her diary: "I hope the exit is joyful — and I hope never to return — Frida".
Later, in his autobiography, Diego Rivera wrote that the day Kahlo died was the most tragic day of his life, adding that, too late, he had realized that the most wonderful part of his life had been his love for her.
Although Frida's health declined after 1940, her spirit has not. A series of photographs of Frida Kahlo, her life, and her painting is the subject of an exhibit sponsored by ARC in Whittier California, this summer. A total of 46 photographs will be on display.
Interesting tidbit...In 2007 Converse Shoes launched a limited edition of Frida Kahlo-themed sneakers. I want!