In this series we look at various heroes and advocates of the LGBTQIA family.
In this article we focus on a woman who identifies as bisexual.
Frida Kahlo “They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”
Frida Kahlo was born in 1907, in Coyoacan Mexico. As a child, she suffered from Polio and at the age of 18, was severely injured in a traffic accident, which caused her relentless pain and medical problems during the rest of her life. She was an excellent student and prior to the accident, had planned to attend medical school. Miss Kahlo abandoned her studies due to her medical troubles.
Art, at first, was a hobby for her. Because the accident displaced three vertebrae, among many other injuries, part of her recovery was wearing a body cast, which kept her bedridden for several months. This is when Miss Kahlo decided to pursue a career as a medical illustrator. She began painting using an easel that would allow her to paint in bed, and a mirror above the easel which would allow her to create self-portraits.
Self -Portrait 1940
“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”
Miss Kahlo was inspired by European artists such as Renaissance Masters Sandro Botticelli and Bronzino and avant-garde movements such as Neue Sachlichkeit and Cubism. She is not only remembered for her self-portraits, but also for how passionate she was about the female experience, her political beliefs and activism, and attention to Mexican culture.
Miss Kahlo was an openly bisexual woman who, although married to Diego Rivera, was known to have been in relationships with Jacqueline Lamba, Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as Dolores del Rio and Paulette Goddard. Although she mostly dressed in traditional Tehuana garments, she was also known to dress in men’s clothing. Miss Kahlo, an admirable, strong-willed woman, who besides becoming an accomplished artist also fought against social conventions. She did not conform to typical beauty norms and unlike the majority of other women, was educated in a co-educational school which was almost unheard of at the time. In her paintings she depicted women’s challenges such as miscarriage and pregnancy which was then considered a private matter. Miss Kahlo was an atheist, involved in politics and a proud communist. She was a true original.
“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.”
This self-portrait expressed her desire to be independent and not rely on men. She painted this portrait after her separation from Diego Rivera.
Writen by @Eulalie260