Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo Calderón, better known as Frida Kahlo, was born in Coyoacán on July 6th 1907. She was a mexican painter and poet. Frida grew up in the famous Blue House in Coyoacán, with her dad Guillermo Kahlo (german, who became a naturalised mexican) and her mom Matilde Calderón. Frida had three sisters: Matilde, Adriana and Cristina, 11 months younger than her, and a brother, Guillermo, who died some days after he was born. Frida also had 3 older sisters on her dads side: Luisa, Margarita and María, who also died soon after she was born. Frida's childhood was marked by the different illnesses she went through, leaving permanent sequels on her. Her dad, wanting to cheer her up and looking for a way of rehabilitation for her, encouraged her to practise sports such as soccer or boxing. Contrary to the good relationship she had with her dad, Frida's relationship with her mom always went through ups and downs. It was not a constant in Frida's life. In 1922, she enrolled in the National Preparatory High School, in Mexico , where she wanted to study medicine. Here, she got to know future mexican intellectuals and artists, such as Salvador Novo, or Alejandro Gomez Arias (who will also become her boyfriend), among others. Frida joined the group The Cachuchas, named after the caps they used. They defined themselves as a political group, crítical with authorities and injustice. Frida started working as an apprentice at Fernando Fernandez Dominguez 's engraving and printing workshop, a friend of her dad. He taught her how to paint imitating Anders Zorn. On september 17th 1925, Frida suffered a serioustraffic accident. She was travelling on a bus that got moved down by a tram. She suffered several injuries, broken pelvic bone, spinal column… She had to go through different methods of rehabilitation that would leave a mark on her forever. Plaster corsets, mechanisms of stretching... During her long convalescence (convalésens), she started painting constantly. And this is how painting becomes an essential part of her life. In 1926 she painted her first self portrait, dedicated to Alejandro. In this first work, we can already see a characteristic that will be a constant in her works: reflecting how she sees life and how things make her feel. At this period, Frida had already started to frequent political, artistic and intellectual spheres. There, she would meet Diego Rivera, 21 years older than her. Soon, Frida would be attending the meetings of the Mexican Communist Party, of which Diego was a member. . In 1928, Frida visited Rivera when he was working in one of his famous murals, with the intention of showing him her own works. Rivera was impressed and encouraged her to keep painting. From that moment on, Diego was a constant guess at the Kahlo's home. On August 21st 1929, they got married. This marriage was even known as the “union between an elephant and a dove”. Diego was big and obese; Frida, little and thin. Their relationship was based on love, adventures with other people, a creative link and hate. Even tho the doctors told Frida she couldnt have children because of her INJURIES, she got pregnant in 1930. However, because of the sequels of the accident and the baby's position, her pregnancy had to be interrupted. It took her long to accept she could never have children... Despite the adventures from both sides, the couple perfectly complemented each other in many aspects. Diego loved her paintings and was her biggest fan, however… Frida was her husbands biggest critic. Due to the political atmosphere at the time and thanks to Diegos fame in the US, the couple moved there. Frida would then have contact with Giorgio de Chirico's influences. In Detroit, during one of Diego's orders, she went through another abortion. The pain she felt was captured in several of her works. After this terrible event, they went back to Mexico in 1933. In 1939 Kahlo and Rivera got divorced, after several infidelities - the most painful of them, Diego and Frida's sister, Cristina. At the time, Frida had an affair with the communist leader León Trotsky, who lived, exiled those years in the Blue House. After Leóns assassination by a member of the NKVD, Frida was blamed and arrested, tho set free not long after. A year later, they married again. It was more of a friendly agreement than an usual marriage. During those years, the recognition of her works kept growing, and she participated in several expositions, at the MOMA in New York, among others. In 1953, the only individual exposition in Mexico City took place. Frida was very weak, and she went to the event in an ambulance, on a hospital bed. That same year they had to amputate her right leg, below her knee, due to gangrene. This sent her into a profound depression. She tried to kill herself several times. In the end, Frida Kahlo died in Coyoacan on July 13th 1954. She was cremated and her ashes lie in the Blue House, a museum now. The last words in her diary were “I joyfully await the exit – and I hope never to return” Her personality has been adopted as one of the international icons of feminism. Frida Kahlo has turned into a cultural reference, a myth that lives beyond the image the painter had created of herself. Long live our Frida!