Frida Kahlo, the woman who never gave up on her dreams and became an icon

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Frida Kahlo, the woman who never gave up on her dreams and became an icon

Frida

She challenged the social norms of her time, carving out her own space as an artist. She knew how to live, love and dream with complete freedom, and today she is a global feminist icon. In the month that marks International Women's Day, we remember some of Frida Kahlo's most insightful quotes.

 

1. “Feet, why do I want them if I have wings to fly?”

Ever since she was a child, she stood out for her unconventional spirit and her determination to not look like anyone else. This was how she developed her own take on art as a means of expression, a philosophy that extended from the way she dressed to her approach to physical pain: her paintings often allude to the body’s fragility.

When she was told that her leg might have to be amputated for health reasons, Frida wrote down this thought—now one of her most frequently quoted phrases—in her diary. She even continued to paint when she was forced to be bedridden for long periods of time.

frida

 

2. “I used to think I was the strangest person in the world (…) if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you”.

Frida Kahlo was the embodiment of vitality. She always appeared self-confident in her self-portraits. However, the reason she projected an image of strength was because she felt vulnerable deep down. Although she was considered an extravagant person in her day (because of the way she understood art and for defending her own ideal of beauty without giving in to conventionality), today she is a role model: she always knew that one day, other women would be able to carve their own paths in life. An option that would have been forbidden to them decades ago. 

 

3. “Fall in love with yourself, with life and then with whoever you want”.

Frida Kahlo spoke openly about her intimate experiences. In her drawings she depicts erotic fantasies more than in her oil paintings, where certain references are disguised in a more or less subtle way. However, her drawings reveal the artist’s dream world unfiltered. These private pieces, which she only gave to friends and lovers, can be seen in an edition that brings together the artist's lesser-known legacy: The Dreams of Frida Kahlo.

frida

The dream or dream-like portrait II, 1932. Juan Coronel Collection. © Photo: Rafael Doniz. © 2021 Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust. Av. 5 de Mayo No. 2, col. Centre, alc. Cuauhtémoc, p.c. 06000, Mexico City.

 

4. “There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst”.

In a very literal sense, Frida refers to the terrible accident she had at the age of eighteen. That is why drawings like The Accident (1926) include clues to understanding her private symbology. Added to the after-effects of her injuries was her fear of loneliness. Her relationship with her husband Diego Rivera was fraught with ups and downs and crises. Heartbreak was a constant feature of her life, one she often reveals in her art.

frida

The accident, 1926. Jacques and Natasha Gelman collection of Mexican art of the 20th century and Vergel Foundation. © Photo: Gerardo Suter. © 2021 Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust. Av. 5 de Mayo No. 2, col. Center, alc. Cuauhtémoc, p.c. 06000, Mexico City

 

5. “I, who fell in love with your wings, will never want to cut them off”.

Frida Kahlo believed in love in a way that was well ahead of her time, particularly in reference to the role women played in a couple. She had countless lovers and knew how to make her way in a male-dominated world. There was no precedent, either in art or in society, for someone like her: an independent and free spirit, fearless when expressing herself or when challenging the opinions of others.

frida

Frida Kahlo y Chavela Vargas (Aubin Pictures).

 

6. “The only women who are really worth it are the ones who, if they want the moon, bring it down themselves”.

Frida’s life is a story of struggle, drive and resilience. She was a completely self-taught artist, and her health was always fragile. She had to break down stereotypes and defy social and gender expectations to forge her identity, and she was fearless when it came to exploring themes of sexuality, suffering and motherhood in her work. And yet she always remained true to herself.

frida

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo archive, Banco de México, Trustee in the Trust relating to the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums.

 

The artist who dared to be different

  • The Dreams of Frida Kahlo is a limited edition that includes self-portraits, images of lovers and dream-like scenes, together with studies by leading experts.
  • No one had ever done it before, but it is now possible to meet Frida Kahlo beyond the myth.

frida

 

 

 

Frida Kahlo, the woman who never gave up on her dreams and became an icon

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