Over time she dropped the “e” from the name her German father gave her, and today Frida Kahlo is the most famous woman artist of all times, recognized, loved by millions around the world; an inspirations to many of us.
Not tall (5’2” or 158 cm), not a classical beauty, her walk impaired by polio at the age of 6; she created her own unique image, staged herself in such a way that today she is recognized not only as an artist but as a fashion icon as well.
Already as a teenager she claimed to be born in 1910, the year of the Mexican revolution, and practically making herself the youngest of her 3 sisters including Cristina, her younger and prettier sister.
At the age of 25 she painted one of her most shocking paintings: “My Birth”, a small format oil on metal, painted in retablo-style.
This small painting shows how Frida used the retablo (or votive) style to bring her powerful message across. Votive paintings have usually three elements:
- the scene of the accident that was supposed to happen,
- the written description of the accident, and the grace to the saint who saved the person from the accident,
- the image of the holy saviour.
Some believe that the imagery of “My Birth” is inspired by an Aztec sculpture Frida had at home representing Tlazolteotl, the Goddess of fertility and midwives, the mother of the Warrior.
“My Birth” belongs to the pop star Madonna who claims that those who do not like this painting are not her friends.
Happy Birthday Frida, we love this and the rest of your paintings!
About the photo:
Right: #34: Frida Kahlo, My Birth, 1932,
Oil on metal, 30,5 x 35 cm, Original is in the Private Collection of Madonna.
Licensed replica by ©Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008.
Left: Copy of Tlazolteotl – Aztec Goddess of Fertility and Midwives.