July 6, 2010
Frida Kahlo's 103rd Birthday
Mexican painter and activist Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo Calderón was born on July 6, 1907 in Mexico City, in her parents’ home, “La Casa Azul,” or “The Blue House.” Although she contracted polio at the age of 6 and continued to have significant health issues throughout her life, Kahlo never stopped working and striving.
At the age of 18 she was involved in a tragic bus crash, breaking several bones and causing significant damage to her spine. After the accident, she found herself bedridden in a full body cast and unable to move. To help her pass the time, her mother brought her a portable easel and box of paints -- and it was then that an artist was born. Around the same time that she began painting, she also became more politically active. She fought for justice for women, Latinos, and workers.
Kahlo's paintings are mostly known for being personal in the extreme; she tells her stories through vivid and surreal images that are both shocking and inviting. "I painted my own reality," she said. Kahlo's work has encouraged many women to give voice to their experiences and pursue their passions, whatever obstacles life might pose along the way.
Doodle by Jennifer Hom