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25 Intimate Facts About Frida Kahlo That Will Give You A Better Of A Perspective Of The Artist And Her Life’s Struggle

Frida Kahlo has gained attention across all corners of the globe for her artistry and work. Perhaps one of the greatest influences and well-known facts about her artistic narrative are the pain and perseverance of her life. Getting to truly know and understand Kahlo’s work is to understand her story.

Here are 25 facts that will help you to better understand Frida Kahlo and the experiences that shaped her greatest pieces of work.

1. Frieda not Frida.

Kahlo
CREDIT: Miramax Films

Frida Kahlo was born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón. The name Frieda comes from the German word for “peace,” Friede. Around 1935, she dropped the e from her name and became known as Frida.

2. She once went to an art show in an ambulance.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

In the last years of her life, the painter was sick but she refused to allow this to keep her from celebrating her accomplishments. In 1953,  the painter had earned her first solo exhibition in Mexico. Despite being stuck in the hospital and doctor’s’ orders she made her way to her exhibit.

3. A third of her paintings were of herself.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo painted 55 surreal self-portraits of herself which included symbols of her Mexican culture and allusions to her personal life. She once said of these paintings that “I paint myself because I am so often alone because I am the subject I know best.”

4. She died in the same house that she was born in

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, in a blue building called “La Casa Azul.” She was raised in the same house by her mother and father. Years later, after meeting her husband  Diego Rivera the couple made the house their own as well. When she was 47 she passed away in the same house.

5. The same home she was born is now a museum you can visit.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Today, Casa Azul is known as The Frida Kahlo Museum. Her husband donated the house in 1958 as well as all of the artwork inside of it so that fans could come and get a glimpse into her life.

6. She had a severe accident that completely derailed her plans for the future.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

When she was 18-year-old Kahlo took a bus with her boyfriend Alex Gómez Arias which left her forever injured when it collided with a train. Kahlo’s ex Arias said that he remembered the bus “burst(ing) into a thousand pieces,” and seeing a handrail rip through Kahlo’s back.

He later recalled the experince saying. “Something strange had happened. Frida was totally nude. The collision had unfastened her clothes. Someone in the bus, probably a house painter, had been carrying a packet of powdered gold. This package broke, and the gold fell all over the bleeding body of Frida. When people saw her, they cried, ‘La bailarina, la bailarina!’ With the gold on her red, bloody body, they thought she was a dancer.”

7. Her artistry stemmed from the accident.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Frida’s bus accident broke her spinal column, collarbone, ribs, and pelvis, fractured her right leg in 11 places, and dislocated her shoulder. The number of severe injuries left her in pain for the rest of her life and often bedridden. But during these times, Kahlo would paint.

8. She initially planned to be a doctor.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

After contracting polio as a child Kahlo became interested in medicine. Sadly her injuries from the bus accident forced her to abandon any plans she had of studying medicine.

9. She had poor health her whole life which affected her heart

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo underwent 30 surgeries throughout the course of her life. This included the amputation of her foot. The artist touched on concepts related to her body’s limited condition with paintings like “The Broken Column,” which depicted her spine and “Without Hope,” which referenced a period in which a doctor prescribed force-feeding.

10. Kahlo didn’t think she was a surrealist.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Many describe her as a surrealist but she once said “They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”

11. Kahlo’s troubled marriage inspired her work.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo met Rivera when she was a student and he was a father of four and making an exit on his marriage. There was a 20-year age difference between the pair but they quickly fell in love. Despite being each other’s greatest supporters, their 10-year marriage was riddled infidelities from both. They divorced in 1939 and remarried a year later.

12. One of her greatest pains was the children she never had.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Today’s doctors suggest that her bus accident had damaged Kahlo’s uterus rendering any possible pregnancies to be carried to full term. Her painting “Henry Ford Hospital” from 1932 was self-portrait that and focused on her miscarriages.

13. She was rumored to have gone to bed with several celebrities.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo led a life riddled with pain and illness, but when she wasn’t confined to her bed she led a vibrant and full life. She danced and loved to socialize. She had a brief affair with American sculptor Isamu Noguchi and three years later while in Paris she struck up a romance with Josephine Baker.

14. She was fiercely in love with her heritage.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo traveled the world and lived in New York, San Francisco, and Paris. Still, her life in Mexico City always drew her back home. She dressed in traditional Mexican clothing.

15. She loved animals and collected several pets.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo’s home, Casa Azul, has a lovely garden where Kahlo kept her own collection of animals including a Xoloitzcuintli,  spider monkeys and an Amazon parrot called Bonito.

16. She is considered a key face in the feminist movement.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo’s art was celebrated and loved by Pablo Picasso and Edward G. Robinson. After her death, the 1970s feminist movement sparked a new interest in her artistry. Eventually, her popularity grew so that she became one of the world’s most famous painters.

17. She had impeccable style.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Frida’s art wasn’t the only impression she left on people. She had a distinctive fashion style that inspired designers like Raffaella Curiel, Maya Hansen, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Dolce & Gabbana. She was also featured in Vogue Paris while she was alive.

18. She broke records with her artwork even after death.

CREDIT: Miramax

On May 11, 2016, her 1939 painting “Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma)” sold for over $8 million. It was the highest auction price any Latin American artist ever.

19. She had a thing for monkies.

CREDIT: Miramax

Kahlo often used monkies in her work. In Mexican mythology, monkeys are symbols of lust.

20. She had an easel that was used to paint in bed.

CREDIT: Miramax

Kahlo’s mother made her a special easel that allowed her to paint in bed.

21. she was open about her sexuality.

CREDIT: Miramax

Kahlo’s affair with Josephine Baker happened in the mid-1900s when relationships with women were even more taboo than they are today. And much more restricted.

22. She was a communist.

CREDIT: Miramax

Kahlo joined the Communist Party of Mexico in 1928,

23. She lied about her age.

CREDIT: Miramax

Despite being born on July 6th, Kahlo claimed to have been born on July 7th, 1910  the same day the Mexican revolution started. 

24. She left behind quite a bit.

CREDIT: Miramax

When she died at the age of 47 on July 13, 1954, she left paintings, love letters to friends and journal entries.


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Jharrel Jerome Made History By Being The First Ever Afro-Latino To Win An Emmy For Acting And His Acceptance Speech Made Latinos Everywhere Cry Their Hearts Out

Entertainment

Jharrel Jerome Made History By Being The First Ever Afro-Latino To Win An Emmy For Acting And His Acceptance Speech Made Latinos Everywhere Cry Their Hearts Out

Jharrel Jerome - 71st Emmy Awards - Press Room / Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Another glass ceiling has finally been broken in Hollywood. On Sunday night, Dominican-American actor Jharrel Jerome became the first-ever Afro-Latino actor to win an Emmy for acting. Jerome won the award for his work in the Ava Duverney limited series “When They See Us”, where he portrayed the wrongly-convicted Korey Wise. 

“When They See Us” is a Netflix-helmed production that revolves around the case of Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam–a group of black and Latino young men who were wrongly convicted for the rape and assault of a female jogger. Jerome played the part of Korey Wise, the oldest of the group, and the only member who was forced to serve his term in the adult prison system. Years later, the true assailant admitted to the crime and the men were released from prison. 

The limited-series has been praised for “adding a necessary layer of humanity” to the boys’ stories and challenging viewers to “reconsider what it means to find justice in America.”

The win was one of the most emotional wins of the night, with the audience erupting into applause and getting to its feet when Jerome won.

Notably among the audience were the members of “The Central Park Five”, whom Jerome referred to in his speech as “The Exonerated Five”. The men gave Jerome a standing ovation along with the rest of the crowd, all of them visibly emotional. Korey Wise, the man Jerome portrayed, was shown with tears running down his face during Jerome’s acceptance speech.

Jerome started the speech saying that he feels he should be “in the Bronx right now, chillin,’ waiting for my mom’s cooking, but I’m here”. He then went on to thank his family for their support, including his mother and his father. He lapsed into Spanish at one point, pointing to the sky and telling his deceased grandfather “te quiero”. Finally, he dedicated his award “Most importantly, this is for the men that we know as The Exonerated Five. Thank you so much. It’s an honor and a blessing.”

The win was a shock to audience and critics alike, as the category was stacked with heavy-hitters.

The competition was stiff among the limited-series nominees, with household names like Benecio Del Toro, Hugh Grant, Mahershala Ali, and Jared Harris among the actors. Jerome thanked his fellow nominees at the beginning of his speech, saying that he was “here with his inspirations” with people he was “so motivated by”. The win was not only surprising because of Jerome’s status as a newcomer, but also his age–the youngest actor ever to win in this category. 

The significance of the occasion was not lost on Jerome, who said that he hoped it was a “step forward for Dominicans, for Latinos, for Afro-Latinos” in a backstage interview.

Backstage, Jerome was also candid about the impact of black and brown stories, and how their power lies in the truth they portray. “I think our strongest stories are the stories of pain, considering that’s what we go through on a regular basis,” he said. “I think the truth is our pain needs to be told.”

Always on board to celebrate the accomplishments of la Raza, Latinxs took to Twitter to express their joy at Jerome’s win. 

Naturally, the news is cause for celebration. After all, it’s not every day that a young Dominican Afro-Latino from the Bronx wins an Emmy. Especially when he’s pitted against Oscar-winners and industry favorites.

This Latina took to Twitter to emphasize the significance of this event:

With Jerome’s win, history was literally made on Sunday night–that fact can’t be stated enough.

Even Lin Manuel Miranda got in on the action, expressing his pride:

It turns out that Miranda and Jerome had met before. What a beautiful example of Latinos supporting other Latinos!

This Latino was overcome with all of the emotion he was feeling from Jerome’s win.

It’s hard to express the pride one feels when seeing someone from their tribe make an impact on the world. This is why representation on our screens is so important.

This Dominicana had a thing or two to say about black and Latinx intersectionality:

Jerome’s win is the perfect teachable moment for people (included Latinxs) who struggle with the fact that there are black Latinos out there. 

This Latina suggested a nation-wide day off for Dominican-Americans.

We don’t hate that idea. Every step forward should be celebrated. 

Congratulations to Jharrel Jerome for a much-deserved win. We’re sure that we’ll be seeing him on our screens for years to come.

New Safety Measures In The Dominican Republic Following American Deaths

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New Safety Measures In The Dominican Republic Following American Deaths

Joe deSousa / Flickr

It’s only common sense that tells you to watch your back when you travel, no matter where you go. After all, tourists are prime targets for scams, pickpockets, and the like. And sure, sometimes certain places give you a bad dose of something, which leaves you making best friends with the toilet bowl for a good 24 hours. But, what you most likely don’t anticipate is having to contend with death – and after the deaths of 11 American tourists in the Dominican Republic, officials have been scrambling to deal with the fallout.

New safety measures are being rolled out to protect and assist American tourists visiting the Dominican Republic.

Credit: Chrissy Anderson / Pinterest

The reason why we know this is because officials from the Dominican Republic, along with the US Ambassador, gathered in New York City to announce the new initiatives to be put in place. Talking to the media at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan, the Dominican Republic’s Minister of Tourism, Javier Garcia, said that the proposed safety measures are designed to address safety issues reported to be at the center of the tourists’ deaths. Granted, even though the safety measures were only recently announced, it’s likely that these initiatives have been in the works for a while – so here’s hoping that they’ve hashed out all the little details, and see some success!

So what was said in the announcement?

Credit: YouTube / Daily Mail

Well, there were four main changes that are gonna be made in the Dominican Republic. Firstly, the plan is to reinforce mandates requiring that both emergency information and 911 be available in guest rooms. A new emergency tourist center, manned by multi-lingual staff, is to be constructed in Bávaro, Punta Cana. The aim behind this initiative is to ensure that, should there actually be an emergency, then there is plenty of help on hand. It’s great to see that they’ve considered language barriers, too, as navigating them can be the difference between life and death in an emergency.

Improved access to emergency services is not all that’s been announced.

Credit: ecolab_inc / Instagram

The Ministry of Tourism also announced a partnership with Ecolab, a U.S.-based water, hygiene, and energy technology developer. Ecolab has been brought on board as a training and certification provider for current and would-be Department of Tourism, Services and Companies inspectors. The benefit of this partnership is that the U.S. tends to set acceptable standards for lots of industries, worldwide. Granted, we’re not here to go down that rabbit hole and judge whether that’s a good or a bad thing. Rather, it’s important to acknowledge the line of thinking that if inspectors from the Department of Tourism, Services, and Companies have been trained to what’s synonymous with a world-class standard, at what they do.

This means inspectors who are good at their job ensuring that accidents don’t happen.

Credit: hdcamerasusa / Instagram

In terms of more general security, our man Garcia also announced that 4,000 agents would be hired across the tourist security agency and the national police. Beyond manpower, 3,000 additional public security cameras are to be installed. On the one hand, this indicates a considerable boost to security resources within the Dominican Republic. On the other hand, not many specifics were mentioned around this new personnel and cameras. For example: where exactly would these agents and cameras be stationed? It’s no good if they’re just added to the current roster of security resources, without any thought about how they could make an impact. It’s no good placing a camera in a busy thoroughfare if it’s not really an area where any crime occurs in the first place, right?

The US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic was on board with the announcement.

Credit: lavozdegaliciard / Instagram

Robin Bernstein reminded the press that the U.S. State Department maintains a level-two advisory on travel to the Dominican Republic – a standard that’s also been applied to countries such as Spain, Denmark, and Belgium. In fact, she declared that the deaths of the American tourists in the Dominican Republic fueled an “unfounded negative campaign,” which has created a “tourism crisis” for the country. “American tourists should feel safe and secure,” Bernstein said. “I am totally comfortable with [the Dominican Republic’s] safety level, it is one of the safest tourist destinations I have ever visited. In fact, it has now become an even safer place to come because of the initiatives.”

The ambassador is cautiously optimistic about the long-term benefits of these safety measures.

Credit: asonahores / Instagram

While the Ambassador indicated that she has full faith in the safety standards of the Dominican Republic, she also addressed the reports that tainted alcohol had lead to the deaths of U.S. tourists. “If it was alcohol, people would be dropping like flies,” Bernstein said. “It is not alcohol.” However, she did not offer an alternative explanation as to why the deaths occurred.

Not all of the deaths have been attributed to compromised alcohol.

Credit: hrhcpuntacana / Instagram

That doesn’t mean that concerns haven’t been raised around the alcohol provided at hotels in the Caribbean country. Back in June, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino announced that it would remove liquor dispensers from the guest rooms at its Punta Cana location. Apparently, this was due to “guest feedback” and an effort to “enhance safety moving forward.” From there on in, all alcohol onsite would be brand-name and sourced from the U.S. – bar specialty beverages from the Dominican Republic. Hard Rock also announced that it would be contracting a U.S. third party organizations to assist with inspecting and testing the location’s food and beverages. Seems that it’s a bit of overkill for just merely responding to customer feedback.

Some think that the timing seems a little too coincidental to think otherwise.

Credit: av1ation / Instagram

In addition to the Hard Rock Hotel’s change in company policy, Delta Airlines also decided to give its customers a bit of leeway with their flights. The most recent death of 46-year-old Denver resident, Khalid Adkins, on July 25 triggered an announcement from Delta Airlines that the airline would allow travelers with tickets to Punta Cana to cancel or reschedule their flights “due to recent events” – a euphemism for the deaths that have occurred in the region. 

Despite the reactions of these companies to the deaths, the facts still say that the Dominican Republic is a relatively safe holiday destination.

Credit: artbyheathercutts / Instagram

For anyone who is planning to travel to the Dominican Republic, it’s worth thinking about this: last year, about 13 U.S. citizens died in the Dominican Republic. In 2017, the figure was 17 deaths. So, the rate of deaths is actually decreasing for U.S. citizens traveling to the Caribbean island. The Dominican Republic saw more than 2.7 million visitors from the U.S. in 2017.

Yet, it is always important to feel safe and comfortable when traveling.

Credit: airportag / Instagram

At the end of the day, there’s just not enough information out there to really say how many of the deaths could be connected – or if they were connected at all, save the fact that these US tourists traveled to the same place. Some of the US citizens who died did so due to car accidents, or heart conditions – things that, unfortunately, happen all too common in the US, too. However, some of the deaths are yet to have a particular cause attributed to them. A few of them have occurred after the tourist was drinking, exhibiting symptoms such as excessive vomiting. And, okay, entirely possible that authorities are genuinely still investigating the causes of the deaths, or even keeping the cause of the deaths quiet out of respect for the families of the victims. But, the moral of the story is that it never hurts to exercise caution when you’re in traveling overseas, babes.

READ: Dominicans Are Taking To Social Media To Make Sure That People Stop Trying To Cancel The Dominican Republic