Frida Kahlo - Mexican Artist

Artwork and Biography by Ava, aged 11

The Museum of Very Interesting People features Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Lived: 1907 - 1954

Claim to Fame: Artist

Frida Kahlo is an important Mexican artist. Frida was born on the sixth of July 1907 in the Blue House that belonged to her parents, in a place called Coyoacán, Mexico. Frida was the second youngest of four girls.

When Frida was six years old she caught a terrible disease called polio. Polio effects the brain and the spine and it can sometimes leave you paralysed. Although Frida got better, the polio weakened her leg.

At school Frida was a very good student and when Frida was old enough for high school, she got into a very good school in Mexico City called Escuela Nacional Preparatoria (National Preparatory School). When she was at high school, she wanted to become a doctor.

One day when Frida was 18, she was on the bus back to Coyoacán when the bus was hit by a car. Frida was trapped inside the bus and a metal arm to one of the chairs had gone through her body. When she was in hospital, most of Frida’s family didn't visit her because they hated seeing her in the state that she was in. Frida's older sister Matilde was the only one in her family that visited her in hospital. Frida's friends from school came to visit her as well. After a month in hospital the doctors told Frida she could go back to the Blue house. Frida was still in a full body cast.

Frida was very adventurous, and she hated being stuck in bed doing nothing. She asked her dad if she could borrow his paints and brushes, and her mum got a carpenter to create a unique easel so that Frida could paint while lying down in bed. A mirror was placed above her bed so she could paint self-portraits.

Spending all that time painting, made Frida want to become an artist instead of a doctor. Frida showed her artwork to a professional artist who had come to her school, Diego Rivera. Diego started coming over to the Blue House a lot to look at Frida's painting and soon they were in love.

Diego and Frida married in 1929. Frida went on art trips with Diego to San Francisco and New York. Some of her most interesting paintings came from that experience. One of the most interesting was one of Frida standing on the Mexican border to America, on the United States side is tall skyscrapers and buildings puffing smoke and pollution into the air, on the Mexican side are old Mexican ruins, beautiful flowers and large bright vegetables. This showed how Frida missed her home country.

In 1938 Frida has her first solo exhibition for her art in New York city. A year later Frida and Diego were divorced. Frida had another exhibition this time in Paris when her painting the Frame was bought by the Louvre. When she was in San Francisco to get advice from her doctor Frida was visited by Diego and they got married again.

In 1953 Frida had her first solo exhibition in Mexico! She was quite sick, but she still made it to the opening night – she was taken there in the back of a truck and put in a bed in the exhibition! A year later in 1954 Frida Kahlo died.

Frida Kahlo always expressed her feelings through her painting. She had a very painful life but always kept going. In her last painting Frida put the words 'Viva la vida!', in English that means 'long live life!'

Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.

— Frida Kahlo