Celebrating Women’s History Month: Frida Kahlo

-DID YOU KNOW?-


By Tara Yilmaz


→ Did you know March is Women’s History Month? March is the month dedicated to the contributions women have made to United States history and includes International Women’s Day on March 8.

March is an opportunity to support women entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations, read books by female authors or admire and learn from works of art created by women artists.

Many women have revolutionized the art world. Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) trailblazed abstract and modernist art, and sculptor Augusta Savage (1892-1962) had a huge artistic influence during the Harlem Renaissance, as well as championing equal rights for African Americans in fine art.


→ Did you know Frida Kahlo was born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón? Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was a Mexican self-portrait visionary who explored pain, adversity, resilience, and cultural and political conflict through her paintings. Kahlo is known for her uncompromising, vivid self-portraits of all she endured during her lifetime.


Kahlo’s life was often riddled with pain and suffering, starting with her bout of polio as a young child. Then while riding the bus home from school in 1925, Kahlo was seriously injured in a streetcar accident that resulted in her infertility and forced her to undergo 30 surgeries. The medical cost of Kahlo’s recovery put a financial strain on her family. However, during her recovery, Kahlo taught herself how to paint and channel her emotions through her artwork.

Kahlo met and married Diego Rivera, the internationally famous painter and muralist, in 1929. Kahlo’s experiences with infertility, her husband’s infidelity and their tempestuous marriage, all contributed to her work. Kahlo’s paintings are influential and intense. Kahlo once said, “I suffered two grave accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar knocked me down...The other accident is Diego.”


Lauren Simmons, of Beechview, believes women adore Kahlo’s art because it does not shrink from the truth of what it can mean to be a woman. “I look at Kahlo and I see myself,” said Simmons. “From marriage to divorce, from reconciliation to disappointment and heartbreak. None of it was pretty. And Kahlo mirrors that. We endure a lot as women and Kahlo shows the unedited version of the struggles of being a woman.”


→ Did you know on March 26 the immersive Frida Kahlo exhibit “Her Life, Her Love, Her Art” will debut in Pittsburgh? The producers of the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit will bring to life Kahlo’s journey at Lighthouse Artspace Pittsburgh, 720 E. Lacock St., Pittsburgh. For ticket information, immersive-frida.com/pittsburgh.


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