born 1907

Frida Kahlo turned her pain into ground-breaking art that still speaks to us decades after her death.

A leg crippled by polio. Spine shattered in a bus crash. A heart tortured by a lover. Children never born. Frida put it all out there in vibrant, often shocking self portraits heavy with symbolism ~ a style borrowed from the indigenous people of her native Mexico. The diva of her day, Frida wore long skirts and trademark flowers in her hair. She lived by her own rules, smoking + drinking tequila "like a real mariachi," consorting with communists + lovers of both sexes. Small wonder Madonna's a fan, and Frida's paintings now command the highest prices of any female artist.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Frida Kahlo (18)

"I have a cat's luck since I do not die so easily, and that's always something."

to her doctor in Detroit {quoted in Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera} | july 1932

"I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best."

Una Pintora Extraordinaria {quoted in Frida Kahlo: The Paintings by Hayden Herrera} | unknown

"No moon, sun, diamond, hands — fingertip, dot, ray, gauze, sea. pine green, pink glass, eye, mine, eraser, mud, mother, I am coming."

The Diary of Frida Kahlo | 1944

"Only one mountain can know the core of another mountain."

The Diary of Frida Kahlo | january 1944

"Yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you."

The Diary of Frida Kahlo {published 1995} | 1944

"Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing."

The Diary of Frida Kahlo | 1944

"Pain, pleasure and death are no more than a process for existence. The revolutionary struggle in this process is a doorway open to intelligence."

The Diary of Frida Kahlo | 1944

"What I wanted to express very clearly and intensely was that the reason these people had to invent or imagine heroes and gods is pure fear. Fear of life and fear of death."

Frida Kahlo: Brush of Anguish | january 1945

"I have suffered two grave accidents in my life, one in which a streetcar knocked me down ... The other accident is Diego."

Imagen de Frida Kahlo | june 1951

"Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"

The Diary of Frida Kahlo {published 1995} | 1953

"I was born a bitch. I was born a painter."

Finding Frida Kahlo | 1953

"I often have more sympathy for carpenters, shoemakers, etc., than that whole flock of stupid so-called talkers they call 'cultivated people.'"

The Frida Kahlo museum | 1953

"They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn't. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality."

Mexican Autobiography | april 1953

"My painting carries with it the message of pain."

to a friend {quoted in Frida Kahlo: crónica, testimonios y approximaciones by Raquel Tibol} | 1954

"At the end of the day we can endure much more than we think we can."

The Frida Kahlo Museum | 1954

"I hope the end is joyful, and I hope never to return."

Diary of Frida Kahlo | june 1954

"Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away."

Diary of Frida Kahlo | 12/31/1969 7:00pm

"I ask for it, I get it, I sing, sang, I’ll sing from now on our magic—love."

The Diary of Frida Kahlo | unknown
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curated with care by Kathleen Murray + Meghan Miller Brawley {august 2014}