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52 Inspiring Quotes by Frida Kahlo

  • Last updated Jul 26 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Frida Kahlo.

Wikipedia Summary for Frida Kahlo

Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈfɾiða ˈkalo]; 6 July 1907 – 13 July 1954) was a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. Inspired by the country's popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. In addition to belonging to the post-revolutionary Mexicayotl movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity, Kahlo has been described as a surrealist or magical realist. She is known for painting about her experience of chronic pain.

Born to a German father and a mestiza mother, Kahlo spent most of her childhood and adult life at La Casa Azul, her family home in Coyoacán – now publicly accessible as the Frida Kahlo Museum. Although she was disabled by polio as a child, Kahlo had been a promising student headed for medical school until she suffered a bus accident at the age of 18, which caused her lifelong pain and medical problems. During her recovery, she returned to her childhood interest in art with the idea of becoming an artist.

Kahlo's interests in politics and art led her to join the Mexican Communist Party in 1927, through which she met fellow Mexican artist Diego Rivera. The couple married in 1929, and spent the late 1920s and early 1930s travelling in Mexico and the United States together. During this time, she developed her artistic style, drawing her main inspiration from Mexican folk culture, and painted mostly small self-portraits which mixed elements from pre-Columbian and Catholic beliefs. Her paintings raised the interest of Surrealist artist André Breton, who arranged for Kahlo's first solo exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in 1938; the exhibition was a success, and was followed by another in Paris in 1939. While the French exhibition was less successful, the Louvre purchased a painting from Kahlo, The Frame, making her the first Mexican artist to be featured in their collection. Throughout the 1940s, Kahlo participated in exhibitions in Mexico and the United States and worked as an art teacher. She taught at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado ("La Esmeralda") and was a founding member of the Seminario de Cultura Mexicana. Kahlo's always-fragile health began to decline in the same decade. She had her first solo exhibition in Mexico in 1953, shortly before her death in 1954 at the age of 47.

Kahlo's work as an artist remained relatively unknown until the late 1970s, when her work was rediscovered by art historians and political activists. By the early 1990s, she had become not only a recognized figure in art history, but also regarded as an icon for Chicanos, the feminism movement and the LGBTQ+ movement. Kahlo's work has been celebrated internationally as emblematic of Mexican national and indigenous traditions and by feminists for what is seen as its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.

brown trees on brown field during daytime

Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.

--Frida Kahlo

white wall paint with white paint

I wanted to tell you that my whole being opened for you. Since I fell in love with you everything is transformed and is full of beauty... love is like an aroma, like a current, like rain.

--Frida Kahlo

coconut tree near body of water

Really, I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself.

--Frida Kahlo

orange flowers

I am happy to be alive, as long as I can paint.

--Frida Kahlo

body of water

Everyone's opinions about things change over time. Nothing is constant. Everything changes. And to hold onto some dogged idea forever is a little rigid and maybe naive.

--Frida Kahlo

brown humming bird flying in mid air

I hope the leaving is joyful; and I hope never to return.

--Frida Kahlo

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

I find that Americans completely lack sensibility and good taste. They are boring, and they all have faces like unbaked rolls.

--Frida Kahlo


brown trees on brown field during daytime

Passion is the bridge that takes you from pain to change.

--Frida Kahlo

person standing on rock formation during daytime

Her view of life, she told a friend, was: "Make love. Take a bath. Make love again."

--Frida Kahlo

blue sky and white clouds

It's not possible to present an accurate picture of our culture without all the voices of the people in the culture. So at the emerging level, you can't have a good survey art show without women and artists of color.

--Frida Kahlo

snowflake

I put on the canvas whatever comes into my mind.

--Frida Kahlo

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.

--Frida Kahlo

fireplace on fire

My painting carries with it the message of pain.

--Frida Kahlo

Longer Version:

My paintings are well-painted, not nimbly but patiently. My painting contains in it the message of pain. I think that at least a few people are interested in it. It's not revolutionary. Why keep wishing for it to be belligerent? I can't. Painting completed my life. I lost three children and a series of other things that would have fulfilled my horrible life. My painting took the place of all of this. I think work is the best.


lone tree in grassland

I love you more than my own skin.

--Frida Kahlo

Longer Version:

I love you more than my own skin and even though you don’t love me the same way, you love me anyways, don’t you? And if you don’t, I’ll always have the hope that you do, and i’m satisfied with that. Love me a little. I adore you.


blue and white striped textile

This upper class is disgusting and I'm furious at all these rich people here, having seen thousands of people in abject squalor.

--Frida Kahlo

None

Sexism and racism are parallel problems. You can compare them in some ways, but they're not at all the same. But they're both symptoms inside the white male power structure.

--Frida Kahlo

green and white painted wall

Can verbs be made up? I'll tell you one. I heaven you, so my wings will open wide to love you boundlessly.

--Frida Kahlo

white and gray cat

I paint my own reality.

--Frida Kahlo

Longer Version:

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.


sunset

My blood is a miracle that, from my veins, crosses the air in my heart into yours.

--Frida Kahlo

sunset

I don't paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.

--Frida Kahlo

houses and trees during nighttime

There is a skeleton (or death) that flees terrified in the face of my will to live.

--Frida Kahlo


brown leaf tree facing the lake

I am in agreement with everything my father taught me and nothing my mother taught me.

--Frida Kahlo

full moon during day

You deserve a lover who takes away the lies and brings you hope, coffee, and poetry.

--Frida Kahlo

None

The most important thing for everyone in Gringolandia is to have ambition and become 'somebody,' and frankly, I don't have the least ambition to become anybody.

--Frida Kahlo

person standing on rock formation during daytime

I am that clumsy human, always loving, loving, loving. And loving. And never leaving.

--Frida Kahlo

adult black and white dog leaning on wooden fence

I tried to drown my sorrows but the bastards learned how to swim.

--Frida Kahlo

Longer Version:

I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.



brown and gray floral textile

Your word travels the entirety of space and reaches my cells which are my stars then goes to yours which are my light.

--Frida Kahlo

wormeye view photo of milky way

I must fight with all my strength so that the little positive things that my health allows me to do might be pointed toward helping the revolution. The only real reason for living.

--Frida Kahlo

yellow green leaf

There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.

--Frida Kahlo

black pug puppy on white and pink textile

I drank to drown my sorrows, but the damned things learned how to swim.

--Frida Kahlo


green and white painted wall

Can one invent verbs? I want to tell you one: I sky you, so my wings extend so large to love you without measure.

--Frida Kahlo

selective photography of dried leaf

Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?

--Frida Kahlo

clear wine glass with red wine

I was a child who went about in a world of colors... My friends, my companions, became women slowly; I became old in instants.

--Frida Kahlo

moon near mountain ridge

To paint is the most terrific thing that there is, but to do it well is very difficult.

--Frida Kahlo

black fishes

Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.

--Frida Kahlo

galaxy

The industrial part of Detroit is really the most interesting side, otherwise it's like the rest of the United States, ugly and stupid.

--Frida Kahlo

dog on pier at water

I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.

--Frida Kahlo

sunset over hill

There is nothing more precious than laughter.

--Frida Kahlo

purple petaled flower on gray surface

People in general are scared to death of the war and all the exhibitions have been a failure, because the rich bitches don't want to buy anything.

--Frida Kahlo

palm tree under orange sky

Mankind owns its destiny, and its destiny is the earth. We are destroying it until we have no destiny.

--Frida Kahlo

orange moon during nighttime

I think that little by little I'll be able to solve my problems and survive.

--Frida Kahlo


silhouette of mountain during sunset

What would I do without the absurd and the ephemeral?

--Frida Kahlo


black and gray floral textile

Surrealism is the magical surprise of finding a lion in a wardrobe, where you were 'sure' of finding shirts.

--Frida Kahlo

black bird flying under white clouds during daytime

I want a storm to come and flood us into a song that no one wrote.

--Frida Kahlo


aerial photography of beach

I am my own muse, the subject I know best.

--Frida Kahlo

Longer Version:

I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.


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