7 Frida Kahlo Quotes

7 heartbreaking, inspirational and beautiful quotes 

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 - July 13, 1954), born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón, was a Mexican painter who is best known for her self-portraits.

Kahlo's life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue House. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form. Mexican culture and Amerindian cultural tradition are important in her work, which has been sometimes characterized as naïve art or folk art. Her work has also been described as surrealist, and in 1938 André Breton, principal initiator of the surrealist movement, described Kahlo's art as a "ribbon around a bomb". Frida rejected the "surrealist" label; she believed that her work reflected more of her reality than her dreams.

Kahlo had a volatile marriage with the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera. She suffered lifelong health problems, many caused by a traffic accident she survived as a teenager. Recovering from her injuries isolated her from other people, and this isolation influenced her works, many of which are self-portraits of one sort or another.

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

Without Hope, 1945, by Frida Kahlo (Collection: Museo Dolores Olmedo)

2. "I paint flowers so they will not die."

The Chick, 1945, by Frida Kahlo (Collection: Museo Dolores Olmedo)

3. "I am my own muse, the subject I know best."

Self-portrait wearing a velvet dress, 1926, by Frida Kahlo (Collection: Museo Frida Kahlo)

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

Marxism Will Give Health to the Ill, 1954, by Frida Kahlo (Collection: Museo Frida Kahlo)

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

Self-portrait with Small Monkey, 1945, by Frida Kahlo (Collection: Museo Dolores Olmedo)

6. "I love you more than my own skin."

Portrait of Diego Rivera with Frida Kahlo's kiss, 1940 (Collection: Museo Frida Kahlo)

7. "I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you."

Frida Kahlo, 1939, by Nickolas Muray (Collection: George Eastman Museum)

Explore Frida Kahlo's life and work here.

Words by Léonie Shinn-Morris
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