Frida Karlo's life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known
as the Blue House. She claimed that her birthdate was July 7,1910, but
her birth certificate shows that it was July 6,1907. This is just one
of the many lies Frida told about her life.
At age 6, Frida was stricken with polio, which caused her right leg to
appear much thinner than the other. It was to remain that way
permanently. When Frida entered high school she was a tomboy full of
mischief who became the ringleader of a rebellious group of mainly
boys that continually caused trouble in the National Preparatory
School. This group pulled many pranks, mainly on professors.
On September 17, 1925, at about age 18, Frida Kahlo was involved in a
serious bus accident, which left her with a broken spinal column, a
broken collarbone, broken ribs, a broken pelvis, and 11 fractures in
her right leg. In addition her right foot was dislocated and crushed,
and her shoulder was dislocated. For a month, Frida was forced to stay
flat on her back, encased in a plaster cast and enclosed in a boxlike
structure. Frida's enormous strength and will to live allowed her to
survive and make a remarkable recovery. She began painting shortly
after the accident because she was bored in bed. This became her
Although Frida's recovery was miraculous (she regained her ability to
walk), she did have relapses of tremendous pain and fatigue all
throughout her life, which caused her to be stuck in a hospital bed
for long periods of time, bedridden at times, and also caused her to
undergo numerous operations. She once joked that she held the record
for the most operations. Frida underwent about 30 in her lifetime.
During her life Frida turned to alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes to ease
the pain of her physical suffering. Once she was out and about after
her accident, a close friend introduced Frida to the artistic crowd of
Mexico, which included Tina Modotti (well known photographer,actress,
and communist) and Diego Rivera (her future husband).
Diego and Frida were married on August 21,1929. Their marriage
consisted of love, affairs with other people, creative bonding, hate,
and a divorce in 1940 that lasted only for one year.
Their marriage has been called the union between an elephant and a
dove, because Diego Rivera was huge and very fat, and Frida was small
(a little over 5 feet) and slender. Despite Diego's affairs with other
women (one was with Frida's sister), he helped in many ways. He
suggested to Frida that she should begin wearing the traditional
Mexican clothing, which consisted of long, colourful dresses and
exotic jewellery. This, along with Frida's thick, connecting eyebrows,
became her trademark. He also loved her work and was her greatest
admirer. Frida, in turn, was Diego's most...