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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 6 July 1907Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Date of Death 13 July 1954Mexico City, Mexico  (respiratory failure)
Birth NameMagdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderon was born on July 6, 1907 in Mexico City, Mexico. She was the seventh daughter of Guillermo Kahlo (born Carl Wilhelm Kahlo), a successful German photographer who emigrated to Mexico from Pforzheim, and of a Mexican-Indian mother, Matilde Calderón y González. Her father encouraged her interest in art, photography and archaeology; her mother was not so well educated, and also very religious.

At the age of 6, Frida suffered an attack of poliomyelitis, which left her with a deformed leg, although exercise and determination helped her to make a good recovery. At 14, she enrolled into one of Mexico's best schools hoping to forge a career in medicine; however, on September 17, 1925, she suffered serious injury in a traffic accident in Mexico City, breaking her spinal column and pelvis in three places, as well as her collar bone and two ribs. Her right leg, already deformed by polio, was shattered and fractured in 11 places and her right foot was dislocated. Frida spent the next month in hospital, and another 2 months at home recuperating, followed by 32 operations during her life-time. Her first prolonged hospitalization gave her the opportunity to rethink her life and become a painter, in spite of constant pain and discomfort.

She met her future husband, painter Diego Rivera, when he painted a mural at her school in 1923; they re-met in 1927 and began an affair. Although her mother objected to Frida dating Diego mostly because of their age differences (he was exactly 20 years older) and their awkward appearance together (she was 5' 3" tall and weighed only 100 lbs, he was 6' and weighed nearly 300 lbs), they were married in a traditional Catholic civil ceremony in 1929.

Melancholia, illness, separation, divorce, and re-marriage marked their relationship; Diego Rivera was a womanizer and their marriage was stormy. Frustrated by his philandering, Frida (a closet lesbian/bisexual) had affairs with both men and women, including a fling with exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky in 1938. Her career as an artist was highly successful and took her around Mexico, New York and Europe.

Frida and Diego divorced early in 1940, and soon after, Frida's health deteriorated. Her moderate to heavy drinking, chain-smoking, and a steady diet of candy exacerbated her infirmity. In the early 1930s, she developed an atrophic ulcer on her right foot, from which several gangrenous toes were amputated in 1934.

Frida and Diego Rivera reconciled and were re-married on his 54th birthday, in December 1940, in San Francisco, California. Following the amputation of her right leg in 1953, Frida became a recluse and more deeply depressed, finally losing the will to live. She was found dead at home in Mexico City on July 13, 1954, allegedly from kidney, liver and heart failure, although some believe she committed suicide by taking an overdose of pills.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matthew Patay

Spouse (2)

Diego Rivera (8 December 1940 - 13 July 1954) (her death)
Diego Rivera (21 August 1929 - 1939) (divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Eyebrows joined to form a "unibrow"

Trivia (6)

Changed her birth year to 1910 in order to affiliate herself further with being a product of the Mexican Revolution, which began in 1910.
Her father, Guillermo Kahlo (born Carl Wilhelm Kahlo in Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg), was a German who immigrated to Mexico; he was from a Lutheran family. Her mother, Matilde Calderón y González, was a Mexican with Indigenous and Spanish ancestry, and was from a Catholic family.
The U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp in June 2001 to honor Kahlo.
In Mexico, Kahlo is known as "la heroina del dolor" (the heroine of pain).
Her painting "Self Portrait With Monkey" is now owned by Madonna, who is a big fan of her work. In fact Madonnacampaigned for the role of Frida, in Frida (2002) as did Jennifer Lopez, and tried to get a film made for numerous years. The film was eventually made with Salma Hayek in the title role. 'Madonna (I)' loaned the painting for the first time in over a decade to the Tate Modern Exhibition (the biggest exhibition of surreal art shown in the UK for two decades) in September 2001.
Inducted into the International Mustache Hall of Fame in 2017 in the category Music & Arts.

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