They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter who became one of the most famous women in history of Latin America. Apart from creating great works of art, was also a poet.

The ones who personally knew her, described her as “one of history’s grand divas, a tequila heavy drinker, dirty joke-telling smoker, a bohemian who threw festive dinner parties for the likes of Leon Trotsky, poet Pablo Neruda and her husband, muralist Diego Rivera.”

If I were to introduce her, I would say she is an icon of strength, a victim of love and a genius in art. 

Being my great inspiration in life, I regard Frida Kahlo as a school of lessons.  After many years of admiration for Frida Kahlo, I can finally put on paper what this woman taught me:


Love is forgiveness.

“I had two big accidents in my life: The trolley and Diego; Diego is by far the worse.” ~ Frida Kahlo

Frida was the wife of Diego Rivera, the muralist who was best known for his endless love affairs with women. He was a womanizer who had serious problems with infidelity.

Although none of Frida’s friends nor parents approved of this awkward union, Frida still married Diego. She kept on loving him despite all the pain he caused her.

Frida teaches us that love is forgiveness.

She might not have said it out loud, but staying with him throughout her life, shows us that she did forgive him every time he cheated on her.


Love where you come from

Frida was born to a German father and a Mexican mother who was of mostly indigenous descent. Her love of these mix of cultures is evident in every aspect of Frida’s life, from her art to her sense of style to the way she decorated her home. Frida proudly dressed in traditional Mexican styles, and her home was teeming with Mexican folk art and pre-hispanic artifacts. 


Love is unexplainable.

“…the marriage of Frida and Diego is like the union between an elephant and a dove.” ~ Frida’s mother, Matilde Calderon

Whenever I have a discussion about Frida’s life with someone, I always get the same question: “Why did she love him?”

Frida loved Diego for reasons no one understood and she remained faithful in her love for him up until the day she died.

Sometimes people think we fall for the wrong person, but in our own eyes, they’re always right for us. Diego was 42-years-old and 300 pounds while Frida was 22 and 98 pounds. He cheated on her, had little time for her and yet she loved him.

If each one of us looks back at our own experiences, we can understand Frida’s love for Diego. We can never explain the love we had (and maybe still have) for people who hurt us or left us but we can definitely feel it. Frida simply taught me that love is unexplainable.


Life, however painful, is worth living

Frida lived a difficult life shaped by crippling pain. She suffered from polio as a young girl, leaving one of her legs withered and stunted.

“I AM HAPPY TO BE ALIVE AS LONG AS I CAN PAINT.”

Then, at 18, Frida was in a horrific trolley-car accident that would force her to wear a corset to support her spine for the rest of her life. After that, not one day of her life was free from pain.

Yet Frida loved to live. For years of her life she was completely bedridden, the view of her home’s courtyard (which she watched from a mirror hung on the wall above her bed) her only real contact with the outside world—and still she did not surrender to pain or to sorrow. “I am not sick. I am broken,” she wrote in her diary.  “But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.”

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