Frida Kahlo – the first selfie star in the world was a Mexican painter, born on July 6, 1907, though she claimed her birth year to be 1910 since she wanted her life to begin with the Mexican revolution.
Kahlo’s father was a photographer and from her childhood she was always surrounded by photographs and probably she saw her self image more often than her reflection in the mirror. She was afflicted with polio in her legs at a very young age which was further worsened by a life threatening bus accident. She was confined to the bed most of her life with medicines and surgery (32 in all) having havoc with her body. She died at the age of 47 after living a life marred with disabilities along with artistic excellence. Kahlo’s works of art depicted her dreams, traditions, culture, her pain and herself. Her self portraits, the unsmiling selfies are all a portrayal of suffering being a part of life.
The Two Fridas, 1939
This portrait shows Frida’s two different personalities. One is the traditional Frida in Tehuana costume, with a broken heart, sitting next to an independent, modern dressed Frida. In this painting, the two Fridas are holding hands. They both have visible hearts and the heart of the traditional Frida is cut and torn open. Frida admitted that this painting expressed her desperation and loneliness with the separation from Diego since this was painted just after her divorce.
Two Nudes in the Forest, 1939
This painting revealed her ambivalent sexuality. Two naked woman were sitting in the background of forest. The light-skinned woman rests her head on another dark-skinned woman’s lap. And in the background, this scene is being watched by a monkey, which is a symbol of devil and sin traditionally. Others said this painting is not sexual at all but shows two aspects of Frida’s duality: the European and the Mexican Indian. This painting was auctioned at Sotheby’s at a price ranging from price of $120,000 – $160,000.
Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress, 1926
In this self-portrait, Frida was wearing a wine-red velvet dress. she used his painting as a token of love to regain the affection from her lover. And when she finished this portrait she wrote a letter to her lover stating, “Within a few days the portrait will be in your house.Forgive me for sending it without a frame. I implore you to put it in a low place where you can see it as if you were looking at me.”
My Dress Hangs There, 1933
Frida Kahlo was trying to depict the superficiality of American capitalism. Staying in America for more than three years, Frida started wanting to go back to Mexico desperately so she only draws her dresses hanging there empty and alone with the chaos in background. It seems she was saying “I may be in America but only my dress hangs there my life is in Mexico.”
In this painting, Frida stated her faith that all life can join in a single flow. She is depicted here as her torso opens up like a window and gives birth to a vine. She is dreaming to be a tree of life with her elbow supporting her head on a pillow.
This painting sold to an anonymous buyer at Sotheby’s in New York for a very high price of $5,616,000.
Without Hope, 1945
Frida as an explanation to this painting wrote, ” Not the least hope remains to me…everything move in time with what the belly contains. ” She depicts her stage of illness and the procedure of “force feeding” during her times spent in the hospital.
Self Portrait Along the Boarder Line Between Mexico and the United States, 1932
Frida stands on a boundary stone that marks the border between Mexico and the United States. In this painting the sun and moon hold sway only over Mexico, which was, this painting tells us, where Frida wanted to be and she also holds a small Mexican flag, which tells us where her loyalties lie.
What I Saw in the Water, 1938
Firda explained this painting to one of her friends as, “It is an image of passing time about time and childhood games in the bathtub and the sadness of what had happened to her in the course of her life”. In the water the reflections are her images of life and death, happiness and sadness, comfort and pain, as well as her past and present. She gave this painting to her photographer lover Nickolas Muray to repay $400 debt she owed him.