Frida Kahlo [notes]

Andrea Kettenman, (1993) Frida Kahlo. Germany: Taschen

  • suffered polio as a young girl causing permanent deformaties in her leg and foot which she hid under trousers and long Mexican skirts because she had been cruelly nicknamed peg leg Frida
  • a traumatic experience that affected the rest of her life was on the 17th of September 1925 in the bus she was on from school collided with a tram
  • killing several people instantly
  • she suffered multiple injuries , leading the doctors to believe she wasn’t going to survive (causing her to be unable to bear a child, she faced a miscarriage which caused her great emotional pain)
  • left her confined to her bed for 3 months
  • she suffered frequent pain in her spine and right foot and felt constantly tired
  • a year later she went back to hospital in which they found a number of her vertebrae were displaced
  • for the next nine months she had to wear a succession of plaster corsets
  • it was within these months she started to paint as a way of escaping the boredom and thepain
  • she had an easel made for her bed as she could not situp and a mirror so she could be her own model
  • the was the start of her self-portraits
  • “i paint myself because i am so often alone and because i am the subject i know best”
  • “The Broken Column, 1944: she painted this self portrait in 1944 when her health had deteriorated to the point where she had to wear a steel corset. An Ionic column, broken in several places, takes place of her damaged spine. The cleft in her body and the furrows in the bleak, fissured landscape become a symbol of the artists pain and loneliness” pg 68



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