Frida Kahlo and La Casa Azul
Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is best known for her self-portraits, which often used bright, vibrant colours to portray a sense of pain and passion. Her work is celebrated as an emblem of Mexican national tradition and for “its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.” Frida Kahlo was not just an artist but an icon, her beliefs, her style, and her identity alongside her art have provided a legacy that influences many creative spheres.
I find Kahlo’s tangled mixture of art and life inspirational and intriguing. The 2002 film Frida, a biography of the artist, gave me an insight into the problems in this woman’s life and the obstacles she overcame. She survived polio in her early childhood and at the age of 18 was in a tragic accident when the bus she was on was hit by a tram. While Kahlo spent many months in bed recovering from her injuries she found an outlet for her pain and limitations in painting. Spending much of her time alone it was natural for her then to choose a subject for her paintings that she knew best, herself. It is her perseverance and self-expression that make her such an admirable figure and role model for young women.
Today Kahlo’s legacy is not only an inspirational message of determination and purpose but also an idea of creativity and self-expression. Her most recent influence has been at London Fashion Week. Make-up artists at Vivienne Westwood have been channelling her vibrant and colourful style and emulating her dramatic brows, showing that her iconic look still has an impact. Kahlo is an impressive example of how far an artist’s legacy can spread.
Girl Museum Inc.