At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.- Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo de Rivera (1907- 1954) was a Mexican artist. She suffered lifelong health problems, many of which derived from a 1925 vehicle accident. There is thinking she might have had Fibromyalgia as some of her self portraits, depict the emotional effects of her pain.
|Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait, The Broken Column, 1944. |
Collection of Dolores Olmedo,
Photo courtesy of petrus.agricola
On September 17, 1925, Kahlo was riding in a bus that collided with a trolley car. She suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident, including a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a broken pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and a dislocated shoulder. Also, an iron handrail pierced her abdomen and her uterus, compromising her reproductive capacity.
The accident left her in a great deal of pain while she spent three months recovering in a full body cast. Although she recovered from her injuries and eventually regained her ability to walk, she had relapses of extreme pain for the remainder of her life. The pain was intense and often left her confined to a hospital or bedridden for months at a time. She had as many as thirty-five operations as a result of the accident, mainly on her back, her right leg, and her right foot. The injuries also prevented Kahlo from having a child because of the medical complications and permanent damage. Though she conceived three times, all her pregnancies had to be terminated. Frida Festival
Can you imagine enduring all of this? I personally think the trauma of her accident and subsequent medical procedures caused the pain she endured but many people, with chronic pain of many kinds, like to use her as their strong mentor because of her bravery in taking her pain and transforming it into paintings. She presented herself as an image of strength and defiance in her public life and she will always be glorified for this.
|Self Portrait Very Ugly 1933|
oil on canvas
I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality. Frida Kahlo
The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait by Carlos Fuentes
Frida Kahlo 1907-1954: Pain and Passion
The History Show on RTE Radio 1, Sunday 17 April 2011