“Feet? Why would I want them if I have wings to fly.” Frida Kahlo’s Diary, 1953
When Frida reached 11 months old, her mother gave birth to Cristina, the youngest daughter from the Kahlo-Calderón marriage. Because of that, Frida was entrusted to an indigenous woman who took care of her.
Years later, Frida recreated the event in a painting that she called “My nurse and I,” in which the artists is represented as part baby with an adult face. She is being held by her nanny, an indigenous woman whose face is covered by a Pre-Columbian mask.
On July 4th, 1932, Frida suffered a miscarriage in Detroit, after being under the supervision of her doctors who told her that if she spent long periods of time in bed, she could carry the pregnancy to term. However, her body was not able support the pregnancy, and she was finally taken to the Henry Ford Hospital, where the miscarriage that had started in her house ended. “Henry Ford Hospital” is the first painting for which Frida used a metal sheet as a canvas, in the style of the Mexican altarpieces.
Frida Kahlo's life was strongly characterized by introspection and reflection of her emotions. We know that the physical and emotional pain were constant sources of inspiration and relief for the artist. A notable example of these themes is one of her most famous self-portraits: “The Broken Column ” (1944).
Several self-portraits featured Frida accompanied by her favorite animals, which replaced the presence of the children that she did not have. Sometimes they are spider monkeys, parrots or dogs. Such is the case of "Self Portrait with Small Monkey,” where she is portrayed in a three-quarter profile, dressed and coiffed in the way of indigenous people in Southeast Mexico.
She is linked to Lord Xolotl, which was what she called her itzcuintli dog. Behind, on the right, a surprised spider monkey looks towards the front; in the background, there is a pre-Columbian idol. The ribbon with which they are attached ends with her signature; the other end is threaded into a nail that pierces clouds before forming the background of the painting
Carlos Phillips Olmedo — Director general de los Museos Dolores Olmedo, Frida Kahlo y Diego Rivera-Anahuacalli
Hilda Trujillo — Directora de los Museos Frida Kahlo y Diego Rivera-Anahuacalli
Josefina García — Directora de Colecciones y Servicios Educativos del Museo Dolores Olmedo
Adriana Jaramillo — Directora de Comunicación y Relaciones Institucionales del Museo Dolores Olmedo
Patricia Cordero — Coordinadora de Difusión y Contenidos Digitales de los Museos Dolores Olmedo, Frida Kahlo y Diego Rivera-Anahuacalli