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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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Deanna From “Queer Eye” Was Harassed By Neighbors Who Told Her “The Mexicans Are Building Their Own Wall” But The Fab Five Helped Her Overcome Giving Us Another Reason To Love Them

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Deanna From “Queer Eye” Was Harassed By Neighbors Who Told Her “The Mexicans Are Building Their Own Wall” But The Fab Five Helped Her Overcome Giving Us Another Reason To Love Them

Netflix

Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye, featuring the Fab Five, has become a staple of America’s collective therapy. In the days since the fourth season has dropped, we’re all feeling more in touch with our feelings, but never have we been so attacked as when we met Chicana Deanna Muñoz. 

Deanna is a proud second generation Mexican-American who struggles with being “stuck” between two cultures. She doesn’t speak Spanish and can’t cook, making her feel like she’s “not Mexican enough”, and racism felt by her white neighbors makes her feel like she’s “not white enough.” Needless to say, that experience is so relatable for most of us second-generation Latino-Americans.

Meet Deanna Muñoz in all her J.Lo glory.

Credit: @annimal26 / Twitter

In fact, we call it brujería. Deanna had her first child when she was just 16 years old, and had to drop out of school. As her daughter started pouring her heart into creative writing, she wanted to find her a tutor. With none to be found, she founded the Latino Arts Festival non-profit foundation, to showcase and cultivate Latino culture in Kansas City.

We’re giving Queer Eye a 10/10 for shining a light on cultural Imposter Syndrome within the Latinx community.

Credit: @Imitate_this / Twitter

Why did Queer Eye do such a good job of this? They created space for Deanna, an actual Chicana, to share her experience to America. So many of us have faced the surprise of both Latinos and non-Latinos alike when we answer that “what are you?” question. In a place like the U.S., where we often come from mixed-culture families, seeing the emotional effects played out on screen is validating AF.

Karamo Brown took Deanna door to door to find neighbors that can counter the racism she experienced by other vecinos.

Credit: Netflix

Deanna’s family had to build a mini wall to reinforce water drainage on their yard, and a neighbor texted her husband saying, “The Mexicans are building their own wall.” 😡

Deanna’s family immediately felt uncomfortable in their own neighborhood. Our favorite Cubano, Karamo, made sure that Deanna went where the love is–and had her create her own welcome to the ‘hood.

And sons and daughters of immigrant parents everywhere sobbed to see the sacrifice.

Credit: @iiiitsandrea / Twitter

Deanna’s parents immigrated to the U.S. to give Deanna a better life. So many of our parents or abuelos left their culture and language behind to give their children a new start in life. Seeing Deanna get that is what it’s all about. #NoWall

Meanwhile, Bobbi created a safe space for Latino artists in Kansas City by gifting Deanna an office space.

Credit: Netflix

Deanna was working out of a tiny space in her home, with the third annual Latino Arts Festival upon her. Bobbi was able to create a studio space for Latinx artists, and made sure that Latinx artists influenced the design of the space. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

There was also this Latino lesson: never reject abuela’s food. She’ll bring it to you anyway.

Credit: Netflix

Twitter user Pamela Gocobachi shared, that “one of my fave moments from the new #QueerEye season was in  Deanna’s episode when @antoni learned the hard way that you never say no when abuelita asks you if you want to eat something– Martha’s face when he said “later”? Antoni’s face when she brought him food anyway? I DIED”

If you don’t speak Spanish but could relate to Deanna’s struggle to ask for help or take up any space at all, you inherited that from Latino culture.

Credit: @ccsaystoomuch / Twitter

Not one of us would question Deanna’s Latinidad, but we internalize so much shame for not living like we grew up in a Latin American country. Language and food are just two ways to define culture. 

Deanna relatably felt intimidated to be in the kitchen with the viejas.. Deanna felt like her Latin style was seen as “childish” in her board meetings and had trouble being taken seriously. These are the Latino-American experiences we have all experienced and they make us Latino.

If you’re feeling inspired, be like Chloe, and donate to the Latino Arts Foundation!

Credit: @festiefood / Twitter

It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak Spanish and couldn’t roast a poblano for your life–your Latinidad is bigger than that. It’s everything that gives us the birthright to claim that identity, especially in a foreign land. Whether your culture looks like the art of cafecito or appreciating Bad Bunny even though you don’t understand every word he’s saying, somos Latino.

What we do to celebrate that is what we pass on to the next generation. Donate to the Latino Arts Foundation hoy.

Puerto Rican Women Are Finding It Difficult To Access Abortion Related Health Care Putting Their Health At Risk

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Puerto Rican Women Are Finding It Difficult To Access Abortion Related Health Care Putting Their Health At Risk

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For those of you who may have been living under a rock, or just genuinely can’t keep up with the news now that there’s usually a new catastrophe or political gaffe from the Trump administration on a daily basis, it’s probably a good idea to recap what happened around Hurricane Maria.

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, devastating the region and sparking an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. While recovery efforts have been in the works, abortion care has been largely ignored by authorities, leading to another set of problems that need to be addressed before Puerto Rico can really say that it’s moved on from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Granted: there’s so much more to consider than just simply boosting abortion facilities in Puerto Rico.

According to a 2008 study in the Journal of Population Economics, birth rates increase in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Credit: kylleermell / Instagram

Let’s face it, anyone put in the same position would agree: if there’s no access to power, no way of really going anywhere, and there are zero things to do otherwise … you’re gonna have sex. Even though the world is pretty much falling apart around you! Part of the risks of this behavior, beyond focusing on bonking rather than safety awareness during a natural disaster, is the fact that condoms and other contraceptives aren’t necessarily readily accessible in this time. It means that if you’re not intending on getting pregnant, then this situation could put you in perilous circumstances.

The lack of regional resources after a natural disaster is not only hard af for new families – it’s also hard on people who are seeking ways to terminate their pregnancy. Where Puerto Rico is concerned, of the six abortion clinics on the main island, only one was in operation in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. However, it took nine days for that single clinic to get its doors open again. And from there, the damage from the cataclysmic storms meant that the centre didn’t have two air conditioning units or its heating system, and it had to run on a generator for three months. Because power was so expensive at this time, it meant that the clinic also had to cut its hours of operation. And if you think this is bad – that’s just the trials and tribulations of one clinic. Imagine the difficulty in trying to get others open.

Sure, there’s a problem. But aren’t there more important things to deal with in Puerto Rico, first?

Credit: cunyservicecorps / Instagram

Recovery from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico has been mighty slow. In fact, it took an entire year for power to be restored to the region. Poor sanitation in the area led to the spread of water-borne sicknesses, while spoiled food and contaminated drinking water also harmed the population. Pests and bugs further caused havoc and spread disease, in addition to mold and mildew. Not to mention the fact that cleanup activities also introduced further hazards to locals, and opened the potential for further injury and infections. Natural disasters are associated with a decline in the mental health of a population, too, meaning that psychological services are in dire need in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. 

At this point, you’re probably thinking, ‘why are we worried about access to abortion care when there are so many other, more urgent, things to think about’? And sure, you’re not entirely wrong. But the reality is that access to healthcare services in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria is crucial for reducing further loss of human life. And that healthcare must be holistic. Because while healthcare is great for recovery from injuries and treating disease, these are reactive measures to the issue at hand. Family planning and abortion care fall into the category of preventative measures, to ensure that the unintended pregnancies don’t place further stress on very limited services and resources.

The issues we’re seeing now are part of bigger, systemic problems that must be addressed for Puerto Rico’s wellbeing.

Credit: aaron.fernandes476 / Instagram

As an unincorporated territory of the US, it stands to reason that Puerto Rico should have received considerable support from Washington DC. While no-one could forget the classic shot of Donald Trump basketball-shooting paper towels into a crowd of disaster-stricken Puerto Ricans, it’s been argued that the region was, overall, lacking in support and attention from the administration. And this criticism wasn’t a new thing. Puerto Rico’s been dealing with the Zika epidemic, which affected 1 in 7 newborns between 2016 and 2018, while also contending with the shutdown of 66 of 69 major hospitals in the region due to Hurricane Maria. It also has the highest poverty rate over any US state, while also getting less money and resource from the federal government for health programs. Yikes.

This raises questions around Puerto Rico’s representation in Washington: as it is not a state, it doesn’t have a vote in Congress. And, it only has one non-voting member of the House, known as a Resident Commissioner. Who knows what kind of improvements in assistance could have been made for Puerto Rico, if it had the right kind of political representation?

Beyond the federal level, Puerto Rico must also contend with the rise of conservatism.

Credit: senadora_naydavenegasbrownp / Instgram

Pushback against access to family planning services, which largely draws from pervasive religious doctrine, has risen in recent years. For example, 2018 saw a really aggressive attempts to restrict abortion access in Puerto Rico. While the Senator responsible for the bill, Nayda Venegas Brown, eventually pulled it from consideration, it was designed to institute a mandatory 48-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, parental consent for minors, and a ban on the procedure outright after 20 weeks gestation. And sure, while these may seem like pretty common laws for those living on mainland US, these kinds of restrictions are basically unheard of in Puerto Rico.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, these kinds of limitations would add even more complexity to unwanted pregnancies in Puerto Rico. For example, without access to appropriate healthcare services, people may not have even known about their pregnancy until much later in their gestational cycle. Another thing to consider is that, should there be complications in the pregnancy, women may have their lives further jeopardized by restrictions on performing abortions. And, minors who may not be in contact with their parents would then become dependent on those same parents to access an abortion. Indeed, it is fortunate that Puerto Ricans were not subject to such blanket laws – particularly while they’re still dealing with the repercussions of Hurricane Maria.

So, for those of you sitting at home wondering what you can do about the predicament facing Puerto Rico, you’ve got a few options. It’s worth investigating charities in your local area that are dedicated towards providing support to Puerto Rico. Voting for candidates in the 2020 elections that have proposed policies to support Puerto Rico is also crucial. Additionally, improving awareness about women’s rights by sharing accurate information on social media – like this piece – can help break down the stigma around family planning.

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