Culture

10 Frida Kahlo Paintings That Don’t Get Enough Love

Many adjectives are used to describe renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Obscure is not one of them. She didn’t sell many paintings during her lifetime, but now, everyone wants a piece of her. And even though she is more popular than ever, some of her paintings don’t get much love, like:

“What the Water Gave Me”

What the Water Gave Me Frida Kahlo
Photo Credit: frida-kahlo-foundation.org

Completed in 1938, this painting is basically Kahlo’s biography in water. Everything in the water is symbolic of a significant event or circumstance in her life. Kahlo’s life was full of pain. She had polio as a child, she almost died in a street car accident in her teens and she went through 30 operations in her lifetime. She also had two miscarriages and, of course, there was her tumultuous love affair with Diego Rivera.

“Cactus Fruits”

Cactus Fruits Frida Kahlo
Photo Credit: frida-kahlo-foundation.org

At first glance, this piece from 1937 appears to be a simple still life, but check out how the fruit is painted. Almost like it’s bleeding, right? There are even stains on the fabric below the plate. Frida suffered in her lifetime and it’s apparent even when she painted fruit, you guys!

“Four Inhabitants of Mexico”

Four Inhabitants of Mexico
Photo Credit: frida-kahlo-foundation.org

Check out a childhood version of Kahlo surrounded by symbolic inhabitants of Mexico. Grab a drink, sit a minute and try to figure out what it all means — like the guy in the front wearing overalls. Hmm… I mean it’s not Diego Rivera, but he sure does dress like him. And that pre-Columbian Nayarit figure just happens to be missing feet?

READ: Would You Recognize Frida Kahlo as a Child?

Girl with Death Mask

Girl with Death Mask
Photo Credit: frida-kahlo-foundation.org

This 1938 portrait of a lonesome masked four-year-old girl with Day of the Dead paraphernalia lives in the Nagoya City Art Museum in Japan. Many speculate that the little girl is Frida herself. What do you think?

“My Dress Hangs There”

My Dress Hangs There
Photo Credit: frida-kahlo-foundation.org

From 1930-1934, Kahlo lived in the United States with husband Diego Rivera. This painting is a window into Kahlo’s feelings about the US. Hint: she did not enjoy her stay. She once said, “The most important thing for everyone in Gringolandia is to have ambition and become ‘somebody,’ and frankly, I don’t have the least ambition to become anybody.” Perhaps her lack of ambition to become “somebody” is why her dress is featured in the painting, but not Frida.

“Moses Nucleus of Creation”

Moses Nucleus of Creation
Photo Credit: frida-kahlo-foundation.org

An engineer named Don José Domingo Lavin asked Kahlo to read Sigmund Freud’s book Moses and pretty much paint a book report about it. Here’s the thing though, Kahlo’s visual book report is no substitute for the actual book. She explained, “I read the book only once, and started the painting with my first impression. Later I read it again, and I must confess I found my work most inadequate and quite different from the interpretation Freud analyzes so marvelously in his [book] Moses. But now there’s no way to change it.” Notice that in the middle of the painting is an abandoned baby. Not only does the baby resemble Diego Rivera, it also has a third eye of wisdom, which is how Frida painted Diego in other portraits.

READ: 10 Trends Frida Kahlo Started

“Self Portrait on the Borderline between Mexico and the United States”

Self Portraint on the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States
Photo Credit: frida-kahlo-foundation.org

First you think, “Oh look she’s so demure and pretty in pink,” but then you notice her nipples are standing at attention and she’s smoking – look closely at her right hand. Made when she was in the US with Rivera, Kahlo juxtaposes Mexico’s pre-Hispanic roots with the US, a land of industry. It appears that though she may physically be in the US, her loyalty is with Mexico.

“Shcaufenster in Detroit”

Shcaufenster in Detroit Frida Kahlo
Photo Credit: frida-kahlo-foundation.org

This piece from 1932 appears to show Kahlo looking into a store window in Detroit. At first glance, you probably wouldn’t guess it was a Kahlo painting. It’s fascinating because Kahlo was miserable during her stay in Detroit and suffered a miscarriage while she was there.

“Still Life with Parrot”

Still Life with Parrot
Photo Credit: frida-kahlo-foundation.org

In the latter part of her life, Kahlo worked on still life paintings like this one from 1951. She said they were easier than self portraits. Kahlo also hoped they would sell quickly so she could use the money for medical bills.

“The Last Supper”

The Last Supper Frida Kahlo
Photo Credit: frida-kahlo-foundation.org

This particular painting is mind-blowing because it’s like she invited a bunch of her previous self portraits to come share their last meal together.

What’s your favorite Frida Kahlo painting? Click that share button below to spread some Kahlo love. 

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You Can Visit Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul Right Now With This Incredible 360º Tour

Culture

You Can Visit Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul Right Now With This Incredible 360º Tour

omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Thanks to Coronavirus, you’re likely not hopping on a plane any time soon to go and visit one of the world’s top destinations – Mexico City. Most of us are still following stay-at-home orders and the rest of the world is pretty much off limits to us all right now. But thankfully, we do have access to the World Wide Web, right?

Sure, we could pass the time binge watching our favorite TV shows, but why not take a little time to go on a little museum tour of one of the most famous Mexicans of all time?

Thanks to some super cool tech – and the magic of Google – Frida Kahlo’s famed Casa Azul Museum is at your finger tips. You can pay a visit from your living room, bedroom, patio – where ever you wanna be.

Frida’s Casa Azul is one of the most popular attractions in Mexico.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Before the pandemic, la Ciudad de México had become one of the world’s top destinations. With it’s rich mix of foods and cultures and tons of attractions and museums (the city reportedly has the highest count of museums in the world!), it was at the top of tourist’s lists.

And at the top of the recommended sights to take in – the famous Casa Azul. Located a bit south of the central city in the beautiful colonia of Coyoacán, is the house where Frida Kahlo was born and spent much of her life.

People would often wait in line for several hours to pay a visit to this venerated museum and garden complex. In fact, it was rated by Salma Hayek as one of her favorite things to do in the city, in an interview with Vanity Fair. But now, Google is bringing the museum to you and it’s incredible. You can follow along with the following tour using this link.

With this virtual tour, you get the chance to pop into the artist’s famed studio.

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Inside Frida’s studio, you can truly visualize her experience as an artist. The space is filled with giant windows letting in all sorts of natural light. There’s also a large collection of books and prints that likely provided her with inspiration for her pieces.

Visitors also get a glimpse of her workstation, filled with paints, brushes, canvases and other supplies.

You can visit her kitchen…

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Easily one of my favorite parts of the house, is the cocina – which is beautifully decorated in traditional Mexican style. It’s home to a large collection of pottery and woodworking which lends it a very cozy feeling.

Take a look at the thousands of art pieces that are located inside the museum.

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Several rooms of the house and its hallways, are now dedicated to displaying thousands of Frida Kahlo’s works. In fact, Casa Azul is home to the largest collection of Kahlo pieces in the world – which makes sense since this was her actual home.

From photographs and writings, to famed paintings and sketches, a Frida Kahlo fan could easily spend hours walking through these galleries.

Along with many of her iconic fashion looks.

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Perhaps one of the most popular exhibits at the museum, is the dress vault. This gallery is home to some of the artist’s most famous looks. And let’s face it: Frida Kahlo is a fashion icon in so many ways.

The museum often rotates the clothing that is on display so visitors are often treated to new looks.

And the museum is well-known for its gardens, which you also get the chance to visit.

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Casa Azul is also well-known for it’s beautiful gardens. Often home to roaming peacocks, it’s a tranquil setting in the midst of the bustling city and likely one of the top draws for visitors.

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A Recently Shared Letter From Frida Kahlo To Diego Rivera Details Her Struggle The Day Before Having Her Leg Amputated And It Will Break Your Heart

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A Recently Shared Letter From Frida Kahlo To Diego Rivera Details Her Struggle The Day Before Having Her Leg Amputated And It Will Break Your Heart

Fotosearch / Getty

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera have been known for having one of the art world’s most notoriously turbulent marriages. Both artists were guilty of having multiple affairs and straying away from their marriage, breaking up and getting back together only to become one again. Yet, despite their hard times, the Mexican artists had a bond that transcended the ages and one that has stirred countless discussions about their passion and love.

In a series of love letters from Kahlo to Rivera published in The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait readers are given insight into both the anguish and longing that was woven into their marriage.

One letter, recently shared by the Instagram page @historycoolkids, shows a momentary rift in their marriage when Kahlo was preparing to have her leg amputated.

Written in 1953, the letter for Rivera was written while Kahlo was in the hospital.

It reads:

⁣”I’m writing this letter from a hospital room before I am admitted into the operating theatre. They want me to hurry, but I am determined to finish writing first, as I don’t want to leave anything unfinished. Especially now that I know what they are up to. They want to hurt my pride by cutting a leg off. When they told me it would be necessary to amputate, the news didn’t affect me the way everybody expected. No, I was already a maimed woman when I lost you, again, for the umpteenth time maybe, and still I survived.⁣

I am not afraid of pain and you know it. It is almost inherent to my being, although I confess that I suffered, and a great deal, when you cheated on me, every time you did it, not just with my sister but with so many other women. How did they let themselves be fooled by you?

Let’s not fool ourselves, Diego, I gave you everything that is humanly possible to offer and we both know that. But still, how the hell do you manage to seduce so many women when you’re such an ugly son of a bitch?

The reason why I’m writing is not to accuse you of anything more than we’ve already accused each other of in this and however many more bloody lives. It’s because I’m having a leg cut off (damned thing, it got what it wanted in the end). I told you I’ve counted myself as incomplete for a long time, but why the fuck does everybody else need to know about it too? Now my fragmentation will be obvious for everyone to see, for you to see… That’s why I’m telling you before you hear it on the grapevine. I’m writing to let you know I’m releasing you, I’m amputating you. Be happy and never seek me again. I don’t want to hear from you, I don’t want you to hear from me. If there is anything I’d enjoy before I die, it’d be not having to see your fucking horrible bastard face wandering around my garden.⁣

That is all, I can now go to be chopped up in peace.⁣

Good bye from somebody who is crazy and vehemently in love with you,⁣

Your Frida”

Despite the letter, Kahlo didn’t “amputate” Rivera out of her life completely.

In fact, in her last days, Kahlo lived with Rivera and even made a public appearance with him in a demonstration against the CIA invasion of Guatemala. After her death, Rivera stated that her loss was “the most tragic day of my life.” Three years after his death, Riva requested to have his ashes mixed with Kahlo’s (this despite the fact that he married again after her death). Instead, the Mexican government opted to inter his remains in Mexico City’s famous Rotunda of Illustrious Men.

The message from Kahlo is being celebrated by her fans on Instagram as the “best letter in history.”

Fans of Kahlo called her letter “badass” and the greatest they’d ever read. “She was such a talent and such a twisted soul,” one user wrote in the post’s comment sections.

That part where she wonders why Diego was able to be such a womanizer despite being an “ugly son of a bitch” does pretty much make her badass.

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