Celebrating A Phenomenal Woman - Frida Kahlo

Making art more accessible to everyone is one of the key missions of Brush and Bubbles co-founders, Tiffany Smith and Lara Goodison. Offering a space where people can come to discover a newfound passion, learn a new skill, de-stress from their day-to-day and enjoy time with their friends and families. They started their company as creatives themselves and have grown their female-owned and operated small business, to work with female artists across the UK. 

Here at Brush and Bubbles HQ, we are always in awe of the energy, beauty and strength women represent in the world, especially the influence they bring to the art world. One artist in particular has inspired us, so much so, that we even name our ‘Admin’ lists after her - the lovely, Frida Kahlo!

Who was Frida Kahlo?

Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyocoan, Mexico City, Mexico and grew up with her parents and sisters in their childhood home, called Casa Azul, which was later known to represent her admiration for the indigenous people of Mexico.

In her childhood, Frida Kahlo contracted polio at the age of six, and had to be bedridden for nine months. This disease caused her right leg and foot to grow much thinner than her left one, leaving her with a limp long after she recovered. Due to this, her father encouraged her to do lots of sports to help her recover - she played soccer, went swimming, and even wrestled - all male-dominated, contributing to her strong, feminist viewpoints. She kept a very close relationship with her father for her whole life.

Frida Kahlo initially studied medicine but changed her career path following a serious bus accident that left her bedridden as a teenager. She suffered multiple fractures of her spine, collarbone and ribs, a shattered pelvis, broken foot and a dislocated shoulder - forcing her to undergo over thirty operations and rehabilitating in a body cast. During her recovery, her mother had a special easel made for her so she could  paint in bed, and her father lent her his paintbrushes and oil paints. 

blue building with plants outside

Image of 'Casa Azul' via museeum.com

Her artistic life and legacy

Discovering a newfound passion, Frida continued her artistic journey and went on to become one of Mexico’s greatest artists, often painting self-portraits as she wanted to show people about her suffering and her life, through portraying pain and passion, and bold, vibrant colors. She is celebrated in Mexico for her attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and by feminists for her depiction of the female experience and form. 

While she never considered herself a surrealist, Kahlo befriended one of the primary figures in that artistic and literary movement, Andre Breton, in 1938. That same year, she had a major exhibition at a New York City gallery, selling about half of the 25 paintings shown there. Kahlo also received two commissions, including one from famed magazine editor Clare Boothe Luce, as a result of the show. In 1939, Kahlo went to live in Paris for a time. There she exhibited some of her paintings and developed friendships with such artists as Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso. In 1939, the Louvre bought Kahlo's The Frame, making it the first work by a 20th-century Mexican artist to be purchased by an internationally renowned museum. She created 143 paintings, and of these, 55 of them are self-portraits.

self-portrait of Frida Kahlo

Image of Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940 courtesy of www.FridaKahlo.org

Celebrating a phenomenal woman

In honour of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, we've decided to showcase our love for this truly remarkable female artist by creating a fun, an easy-to-follow, painting tutorial of the legend herself! Please feel free to join us as we take in her inspiration and spend a few moments celebrating Frida Kahlo, woman and artist.

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