15 Beautiful Frida Kahlo Portrait Tattoos
“I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration."
~ FRIDA KAHLO
Considering the bulk of her work and her tremendous following, Frida only became famous in the 1980’s when the feminists were reviving all artwork by women. Her contribution to art was finally recognized. Thankfully for us, she is now considered one of the most prominent artists of all time. Her significant influence of Mexican culture and her uniquely personal symbolism makes her art one of a kind.
Born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón on July 6, 1907, Frida was of German, Spanish and American Indian lineage. One of four siblings (all girls), she also had two half-sisters from her father’s previous marriage. The Mexican revolution started when she was age three. At age six, she contracted polio, which left her right leg considerably thinner than the left which she hid by wearing her infamous, long, colorful skirts so that the defect would not show.
She was going to be a nurse, or something in the medical field and in 1922 enrolled in a Preparatoria girl’s school (similar to a college) at her mother’s request; one of the best in all of Mexico. It was on September 17, 1925, a bus that she was riding on crashed into a trolley; the accident that would change her life forever and what lies beneath the very heart and soul of much of her works of art.
Having almost died from severe multiple injuries, she spent a majority of the next year in a full body cast, and took up painting to pass time. All her life, this accident haunted her. After over 35 surgeries to fix her broken bones, her spinal column would never be fully healed, and she wore a back brace to support it for the rest of her life, (although, she never wore it in public). She learned to walk again and her family considered it a miracle that she did.
After she left the hospital, she didn’t go back to school. Instead, she kept painting. She felt as if it helped her express her feelings, even when she couldn’t. Her main subject was herself, for, according to her, “I paint myself because I am often alone, and I am the subject I know best.”
Her periods of extreme pain and weeks at a time bound to bed; her on-again-off-again tumultuous relationship with the Mexican muralist artist and love of her life, Diego Rivera; her bisexuality; their infidelities; their life as communists; all contribute to the very personal, emotional pieces of the puzzle of her life expressed in each one of her paintings.
Many of her admirers are proud to dive-in and don a portrait of Frida skin-deep as though one can draw from it: her beauty, raw talent, strength and survival skills—exemplified in every one of her brushstrokes.
Here are only 15 of some remarkable Frida Kahlo portrait tattoos.