Frida Kahlo’s style is certainly easy to identify; after all, her favorite subject was herself, and whether in New York, Paris or Mexico, she stood out in her pre-Columbian jewelry and Tehuana costumes. Thinking about Frida, her style and her life, what stands out the most was how she managed to continue living and working even when in extreme physical pain. Polio at age six left her with a limp and one leg visibly thinner than the other. Then a trolley car accident when she was 18 left her seriously injured (and unable to have children), and she had to endure more than 30 operations throughout her life. Frida had a volatile marriage with fellow Mexican artist (and philanderer) Diego Rivera. (There are some great home movies of Frida and Diego here.) She coped by having affairs of her own, sometimes even with Rivera’s conquests. She died in 1954, at age 47, almost certainly a suicide. — Amy Azzarito
(For a bit more Frida, check out Amy Merrick’s Living In: Frida)
Image above: Nickolas Muray, 1892–1965 American (b. Hungary), Frida on White Bench, New York 1939, Carbon process print from the Fenimore Art Museum
Product roundup above (from clockwise): Molcajete, $24.95; Frida Pillow, $44.34; Narino Anthropomorphic Mask, $37; Fringed Silk Wrap Bracelet, $48; Acapulco Chair, $475; Hypertufa Planter, $78; Twisted Turquoise Necklace, $22; Tairona Nose Ring Drop Earrings, $24
More Frida after the jump . . .
Kahlo’s family home, a colonial-style house named the Casa Azul where Frida lived as a child and later as an adult, was filled with pre-Columbian idols and tropical plants. The house forms a U around a central courtyard — it was turned into a museum four years after Frida’s death and is certainly on my bucket list of places to visit.
Image above: Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (Autorretrato con collar de espinas y colibrí), 1940 Frida Kahlo, Mexican Oil on canvas 24 5/8 x 18 7/8 inches, Nickolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin via the Philadelphia Museum
Product roundup above (from clockwise): Mexican Tissue Paper Flowers, $33; Turquoise Cha Cha Earrings, $12; Mexican Tin Nicho, $20; Mammillaria Zeilmanniana, $7.25; Carmen Artigas — Solid Colored Bags, $37.15–$50; White Bead Statement Necklace, $50; Narino Bowl, $66; Mexican Embroidered Huipil Blouse, $145