Frida Kahlo is a famous Mexican painter, best known for her self-portraits. She was the first modern artist to show childbirth and miscarriage in her paintings. She became a symbol of feminism in 20th century art and an inspiration for fashion.
The figure of Frida Kahlo entered the mainstream, breaking the scheme of a woman painter. Frida showed all her suffering through her paintings, which made her one of the most famous artists in the world. Much has been written about Kahlo, examining both her work and her life.
An independent, free personality
Frida Kahlo was an exceptional artist, but also an exceptional woman. Her life has been a constant barrage of suffering, both physical and spiritual, which she has used to her advantage to put on canvas. The Mexican woman was distinguished by her characteristic beauty. She was regarded as a brave woman, but at the same time quite fragile and very emotional. She became a feminist icon and a symbol of Mexico.
Why was she considered a feminist icon?
Kahlo shocked and fascinated the public with her provocative opinions. People were intrigued by her sexual freedom and controversial political views, which she publicly displayed. Frida was a liberated woman. She liked to smoke cigars, did not shy away from alcohol, was fascinated with men’s fashion and wore men’s clothes herself. It is not surprising that feminists of the time put her on a pedestal and made her an icon.
Women began to admire her for breaking conventions and ignoring social norms. They appreciated the fact that she created her own original style. Mexican feminists adored Frida mainly for her unconventional work in the field of painting, she was not afraid to touch the subject of abortion, physiology, violence, eroticism, physical love or gender – not very popular in the first half of the 20th century. Her paintings were often shocking, depicting pain, loneliness and difficult life of women. What is most interesting, Kahlo most often painted herself.
There is also another side to her personality. Despite her apparent independence and profound liberation, the painter was a very emotional person and had many weaknesses. Frida loved her husband more than anything and could not live without him. He notoriously cheated on her, which broke her heart. Despite the many humiliations she suffered at his hands, she still admired him very much and worshipped him almost as a deity. Unfortunately, she also saw herself through his prism. What she dreamed of most was having a child with him. She wanted to create a home and a real family. She miscarried three times, which led her to severe depression.
Feminism in Kahlo’s paintings
In the works of Frida Kahlo, feminism is based on showing the truth about suffering and accentuating all aspects of femininity. The painter was not afraid to show herself as a weak woman. Moreover, she drew strength from exposing her weaknesses. She drew inspiration for her paintings from Indian culture. She developed an individual style, and with her unique lines she depicted women in difficult but common life situations, which at that time were taboo in art. Frida Kahlo focused on her own suffering, which drove her to create. Frida Kahlo is not a reflection of a woman as a figure, but as a personality who stands at the center of the events of her life and plays a primary role in the universe.
Kahlo’s figure an inspiration for fashion
The painter also stood out through her clothing. She loved clothes in strong colors, large jewelry and floral decorations in her hair. Frida’s influence on modern pop culture and fashion can be seen, for example, in the bushy eyebrows, which English model Cara Delevingne has been sporting for years. Today’s stars are also inspired by spectacular Kahlo-style accessories, such as colorful scarves with fringes. From time to time, well-known fashion brands remind us of the famous painter, for example, by releasing a line of t-shirts with her image on them.