Frida Kahlo: The surrealist artist and feminist who owned her adverse life story

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04/10/2020

A coil of dark braids, usually decorated with a flower crown, a vibrant dress and her signature unibrow, were some of the distinct features that set one of the 20th century’s most celebrated female artists, Frida Kahlo, apart from everyone else. Most of Frida’s adverse life story took place at the Blue House, which became Kahlo’s base in Mexico City, where she passed away in 1954, aged 47. The house-turned-studio, where the feminist and surrealist artist was born, lived and worked, also served as a refuge for the exiled Soviet revolutionary Leon Trotsky, with whom she had a brief affair, said to be a revenge against her husband Diego Rivera’s affair with her sister. Frida’s openness with her sexuality, the fact that she was bisexual, and her gender-bending dress made her an iconic figure in the LGBT community. Her fierce pride in her Mexican roots have also made her a source of pride for Chicanos. The term Fridamania has been used to describe her popularity in pop-culture which nearly overshadows her true life history that has also been explained by art historian Oriana Baddeley in the Tate Modern Frida Kahlo catalogue.

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