Photo: Photograph by: Nickolas Murray
Today marks the anniversary of the death of one of Mexico’s greatest artist Frida Kahlo. Her real name was Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderon born in Coyoacán on July 6, 1907. She died at age 47 after suffering with lifelong health problems stemming from a traffic accident in her teenage years and childhood polio.
The streetcar accident left the then 18-year-old with a fractured spine, collarbone and ribs and a shattered pelvis. During her lifetime she endured more than 30 operations. Many of her self-portraits portray her suffering and isolation.
The other accident in her life as Kahlo liked to say was meeting, falling in love with and marrying the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera at age 22.
The self-taught artist left behind over 200 paintings, drawings and sketches, 55 which are self-portraits. She is revered in Mexico and throughout the world. Her artwork when sold at auction garners millions and are coveted in private collections.
Mexico continuously honors the artist and her work as often as possible.
Last year an exhibition of her clothes was held at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City. These were the very clothes Rivera ordered locked away only to be seen after his death. In 2010 the Mexican government honored her and Rivera by putting their faces on the 500-peso bill formally occupied by the hero of the Battle of Puebla, Ignacio Zaragoza.
The U.S. honored her in 2001 by putting her face on a stamp thus making her the first Hispanic woman to be honored in such a way.
She died in Coyoacán in her beloved Casa Azul in 1954. The official cause of death was pulmonary embolism but many of her fans believed she died of a broken heart.