Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954) was a Mexican painter, who has achieved great international popularity. She painted using vibrant colors in a style that was influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico as well as European influences that include Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism. Many of her works are self-portraits that symbolically express her own pain. Kahlo was married to and influenced by the Mexican/Spanish muralist Diego Rivera and shared his Communist views. Although she has long been recognized as an important painter, public awareness of her work has become more widespread since the 1970s. Her “Blue” house in Coyoacán, Mexico City is a popular museum, donated by Diego Rivera after his death in 1957.
Yesterday I went to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was blown away. There were beautiful black and white photographs of Kahlo, Rivera and their friends/family along with the powerful paintings of Frida’s. I loved looking at the technique, colors, and surfaces that Kahlo used, along with the symbolism from her own life.
The thing that left the greatest impression on me was the fact that Frida Kahlo hated her life but still was an amazing artist and became a legend. Due to an accident, she was in pain most of her life, oftentimes painting from bed. She had a rocky relationships with Diego Rivera, divorcing and then remarrying him with affairs by both sprinkled in. She had such a distaste for life that during her last days, she wrote in her diary, “I hope the exit is joyful – and I hope never to return – Frida.”
Some of the most successful painters were miserable, some of the greatest musicians went through terrible breakups, and some of the richest people in the world were at one time broke.
There’s something powerful about hitting bottom; it often motivates you to become something great.
So don’t worry about setbacks, they are often a setup for a comeback.
Thanks for reading.