self portrait in a velvet dress


Frida Kahlo was born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón on the 6th of July 1907, in Coyoacán, Mexico. She grew up under the Mexican Revolution, which had a great influence on her later life, and played a variety of sports that were usually reserved for boys at the time, such as boxing, wrestling and bicycling. She began painting to keep herself occupied while recovering in a full body cast following a disastrous bus accident when she was eighteen. At the time - and in the years to follow - she mostly painted self portraits, saying “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best”. She was influenced greatly by Diego Rivera, who she met in 1927 and later married, and who strengthened her wish she pursue a career in art. While her work was mostly influenced by traditional Mexican culture, there are also Christian and Jewish themes that can be found. In 1938, she had her first and only solo show at the Julien Levy gallery in the United States, and the Louvre bought one of her paintings. Despite this, she remained unrecognised until several decades after her death. She died on the 13th of July, 1954, having painted 140 paintings, 55 of which were self portraits with symbolic portrayals of physical and psychological wounds, on which she said, “I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”

The paintings above are titled Self Portrait In A Velvet Dress and What The Water Gave Me.