Une Femme Firsts: Frida Kahlo

Mexican painter Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón is legendary for her bold, brightly hued self-portraits that tackles themes of identity, disability, human pain, and death. Obviously, she's now better known to the world as Frida Kahlo, but for being a woman painter who bucked any number of social norms for both the time she lived in, as well as the country she called home, we at Une Femme think she's worthy of a "legendary" designation.

“I don’t paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality,” Kahlo once said. She is known for her illustrious artistic career, as well as her tumultuous relationship with another painter, Diego Rivera, who was 20 years her senior. She contracted Polio at six years old, which left her with a lifelong disability — a theme featured prominently in her art and which, historically, was not something a painter was keen to focus on. She was particularly famous for her self-portraits, which were a celebration of independence and a strong sense of self, which were traits not celebrated in women, particularly not during the first half of the 20th-century, which was when she was active. 

Kahlo graced the cover of Vogue in 1939 and, also that year, had a painting of hers accepted into the Louvre. This was the first time a 20th-century Mexican artist had a painting accepted in any major international art collection, let alone the Louvre. Frida Kahlo, for daring to live uncommonly boldly, independently, and colorfully, we at Une Femme salute you for your many firsts.