Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyoacan, Mexico City, Mexico. Her father, who was of German descent, was a photographer who immigrated to Mexico where he met and married Frida’s mother Matilde who was half Amerindian and half Spanish.
At the age of 6, Frida contracted polio and was bedridden for nine months. This disease caused her right leg and foot to grow much thinner than her left, which left Frida with a limp after she recovered (Frida Kahlo).
On September 17, 1925, Frida was traveling with school friends on a bus when the vehicle collided with a Streetcar. As a result of the collision, Kahlo was impaled by a steel handrail, suffering several serious injuries, including injuries to her spine and pelvis. After being hospitalized for several weeks, Frida returned home to recuperate further. She began painting during her recovery and finished her first self-portrait the following year.
Frida is considered one of Mexico's greatest artists and still admired as a feminist icon. The US National Archives states that, throughout the course of her life, “Kahlo created nearly 150 paintings, of which 55 were images of herself. Her self-portraits, such as ‘Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird,’ (1940) and ‘The Two Fridas’ (1939), are wonderful examples of her painting style, which was full of imagery and symbolism. “
According to PBS, Frida, “always her own favorite model, was not about preserving youthful beauty so much as identifying herself with Mexico, her beloved homeland; shaved three years off her age, claiming 1910 to be the year she was born, instead of 1907.” Moreover, Frida “loved dancing and crowds and flirtation and seduction – and was often miserably lonely, begging friends and lovers to visit, not to "forget" her. Frida Kahlo embodied alegría, – a lust for life.”
Frida Kahlo: The Story of Her Life by Vanna Vinci