Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13,
1954) was a Mexican painter who is best known for her self-portraits.
Kahlo's life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue
House. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and
indigenous tradition and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the
female experience and form.
Mexican culture and Amerindian cultural tradition are important in her work,
which has been sometimes characterized as naïve art or folk art. Her work has also
been described as surrealist, and in 1938 André Breton, principal initiator of the
surrealist movement, described Kahlo's art as a "ribbon around a bomb". Frida
rejected the "surrealist" label; she believed that her work reflected more of her
reality than her dreams.
Kahlo had a volatile marriage with the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera. She
suffered lifelong health problems, many caused by a traffic accident she survived
as a teenager. Recovering from her injuries isolated her from other people, and
this isolation influenced her works, many of which are self-portraits of one sort
or another. Kahlo suggested, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and
because I am the subject I know best." She also stated, "I was born a bitch. I was
born a painter."