“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” – Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo became one of the most famous women in the history of Latin America as a Mexican painter. Apart from creating magnificent works of art, Frida was also a poet.
The ones who knew her in person described her as “one of history’s grand divas, a heavy tequila drinker, a dirty joke-telling smoker, a bohemian who threw grand festive dinner parties for the likes of Leon Trotsky, poet Pablo Neruda and her husband, muralist Diego Rivera.“
If I were to speak on her name, I would definitely say she is an icon of strength, a victim of an unstable love, and a profound genius in art.
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Being one of my greatest inspirations in life, I regard Frida Kahlo’s life as a school of lessons. After a number of years of admiration for Frida Kahlo, I can finally put on paper all this woman has taught me:
1. 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 married to Diego Rivera, the muralist who was well known for his endless love affairs with other women. He was a renown womanizer who had serious problems with infidelity.
Even though none of Frida’s friends nor her parents approved of this awkward union, Frida still got married to Diego. She loved him despite all the pain he caused her.
Frida teaches us that love is forgiveness.
She might not have spoken it out loud, but staying loyal to him throughout her life, shows us that she forgave him every time he cheated on her.
Read Love and Forgiveness
2. Love where you come from
Frida was born to a German father and a Mexican mother, who was of mostly indigenous descent. Her love and passion for these mixes of cultures are evident in all aspects of Frida’s life, from her artwork to her sense of style to the way she decorated her household. Frida proudly dressed in traditional Mexican attire, and her home was teeming with Mexican folk art and adorned with pre-hispanic artifacts.
3. 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 conversation about Frida’s life with someone, I almost always get the same question: “Why did she love him?”
Frida loved Diego for reasons no one could ever understand and she remained faithful in her love for him up until the day of her demise.
Sometimes we tend to think we fall for the wrong person, but in our very own eyes, they’re always right for us. Diego was 42-years-old and 300 pounds while Frida was 22 and 98 pounds when they got married. He cheated on her, spent little time with her and yet she still loved him.
If we look back at our own experiences, we can somehow understand Frida’s love for Diego. We can never explain the love we had (and maybe still have) for people who hurt us or leave us but we can definitely feel it. Frida has taught me how unexplainable love is .
4. Life, however painful, is worth living
Frida lived a difficult life shaped and moulded by crippling pain. She suffered from a serious case of polio as a young girl, causing one of her legs to be withered and stunted.
“I AM HAPPY TO BE ALIVE AS LONG AS I CAN PAINT.” – Frida Kahlo
Then, at 18, Frida was in a traumatizing trolley-car accident that would force her to wear a corset to support her spine for the rest of her entire life. After that incident, not one day of her life was free from pain.