Ill paint myself because I am so often alone, because I am the subject I know best.
Frida Kahlo de Rivera ( 1907 – July 13, 1954) was a Mexican artist. She used a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society.
Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. She was disabled by polio as a child. Then at age eighteen a traffic accident caused lifelong pain and medical problems. It was during her recovery that she decided to leave her earlier ambitions to study medicine and become an artist.
In 1927, she joined the Mexican Communist Party. Here she met the muralist Diego Rivera and they married in 1928. The relationship was volatile and included a year-long divorce; both had extramarital affairs. Throughout her life Kahlo was mainly known as Rivera’s wife. From the 1930s Kahlo’s always fragile health began to decline. She had her first and only solo exhibition in Mexico in 1953, shortly before her death in 1954 at the age of 47.
In the late 1970s her work was rediscovered by art historians and political activists. Kahlo’s work has been celebrated by feminists for what is seen as its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form. By the early 1990s, she had become not only a recognized figure in art history and the Feminism movement, but also an icon for Chicanos and the LGBTQ movement.