Review: Frida Kahlo
Title: Frida Kahlo
Author: Adam G. Klein
Library binding: 32 pages
Ages: 8 – 12
Frida Kahlo is part of the Great Artists series, which showcases the life of the most famous artists of all time. Frida Kahlo was a renowned Mexican painter, whose works of art represented Mexican culture. Self-portraits, Mexican heritage, and surrealism characterized her art. However, she argued that her paintings were about her life rather than dreams.
Kahlo suffered chronic problems throughout her life. She had polio when she was a kid. The polio left her right leg disfigured. She was seriously injured in a bus accident when she was eighteen years old. She survived the horrible accident despite breaking her collarbone, two ribs, parts of her spine, and her right leg and foot. Her shoulder dislocated. In addition to these injuries, a metal handrail went through her abdomen. She had 35 operations over the course of her life. She never fully recovered.
This biography accounts how Kahlo persevered and became a famous Mexican painter despite of all her hardships and chronic pain. She spent a lot of time in bed after the accident and surgeries, but continued to paint with a special easel. Her paintings were full of emotions because she expressed her passions and depression through them. She finished about 200 paintings.
In addition to recording Kahlo's life, this book briefly discuses some of her most important paintings. She painted The Bus in 1929 after the accident. Self-Portrait on the Border Line Between Mexico and the United States (1932) shows the contrast between the American and Mexican cultures. The Two Fridas (1939), her most significant work, displays her Mexican heritage from her mother and her European heritage from her father. In 1954, she painted Viva la vida before she died.
This biography is an excellent resource for children interested in art and taking art classes, and parents who want to teach their kids about diverse artists. It is a relief for Hispanic parents to find a biography about one of the most celebrated Hispanic artists of all time.