Artist of the Week: Frida Kahlo

“I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best”. 

Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a self-taught Mexican painter that was born in 1907. Kahlo is well known for painting self portraits but what many people don’t know is that she never intended to be an artist. Kahlo wanted to be a doctor but she was left disabled after an accident. While recovering from this accident Kahlo began to paint out of boredom.

Frida Kahlo Painting Her early painting style was a fusion of different influences but she later found her own identity. Kahlo was inspired by her Mexican culture and began incorporating Mexican tradition into her paintings – through style, imagery and colour – and her daily way of living; by the way she dressed and presented herself. Kahlo’s embrace of Mexican heritage in her works earned her a title as an artist of the Mexicanidad movement.

Kahlo is no stranger to pain and suffering in here life which she often portrayed in her paintings. In 1940 Kahlo suffered from a fungal infection in her hand. Her long time friend and doctor, Dr Eloesser, helped treat her and stabilise her condition and as a gesture of thanks she painted the Self Portrait, Dedicated to Dr Eloesser. In the painting Kahlo is wearing a thorn necklace which represents the pain that Dr Eloesser relieved her from. The release of pain is also portrayed by the dead branches which are beginning to show life indicated by the white buds and leaves. An interesting thing to note is that she is wearing hand earrings that were given to her by Pablo Picasso as a gift when she met him in Paris. The earrings along with the hand holding the bandrole at the bottom of the painting represent the source of her pain which was her infected hand.

Although Kahlo’s work can be described as shocking or unsettling, we cannot deny her talent and ability to expose her life with passion and without inhibition.

Recreate this look using: 
Polish Pro Fresh Powder for the White
A mixture of Polish Pro Pale Pink, Pink Cashmere and Pink Flamingo for the Pink and Peach accents
Polish Pro Lemon Twist for the Yellow
Polish Pro Jade for the Green
Polish Pro Dreaming of Blue Rope the Blue
Polish Pro Ebony for the Black



Arty Factory. [Internet]. 2014. Frida Kahlo – A Self Portrait of Suffering. The Arty website. Available from: [Accessed 7 May 2014].
Frida Kahlo Fans. [Internet]. N.d. Self Portrait Dedicated to Dr Eloesser. The Frida Kahlo website. Available from: [Accessed 7 May 2014]. Goodreads Inc. [Internet]. 2014. Frida Kahlo Quotes.
The website. Available from: [Accessed 7 May 2014].
Kettenmann, A. [Internet]. 2003. Frida Kahlo, 1907-1954: Pain and Passion. Page 56. Google
Wax, D.M. [Internet]. 2011. Frida Kahlo’s Mexicanidad. The website. Available from: [Accessed May 2014].


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