Frida Kahlo didn’t paint many artworks. She did around 250 paintings in small and medium format and some of them are in US museums.
If you decide to set out to find all of Frida Kahlo's artworks and see them in person, you might want to plan a road trip all over the United States. At least 12 of Frida Kahlo’s paintings are on public display at several institutions all over the country, from New York to Los Angeles.
The Mexican artist was famous for her self-portraits, but she also painted lots of still lives that were another way to express her feelings and passions, and also to show that not everything in her life was pain and suffering after the accident and the terrible health conditions she suffered all through her life.
During her lifetime, she sold some of her paintings or even gave them as a gift to close friends and collectors, some of them in the United States. That’s why some of her paintings remain in several private and public collections there. Where would you like to start the Frida Kahlo painting quest?
Two Women (1928). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
This was the first painting ever sold by Frida. It shows two indigenous women who were close to Frida since her early childhood, since they worked at her house.
Frida Kahlo And Diego Rivera (1931). San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
This portrait features Frida and Diego as a loving couple. It was painted in San Francisco, California, two years after they got married. They were there because Diego was commissioned to paint some murals.
My Grandparents, My Parents, And I (1936). Museum of Modern Art
In this painting, Frida imagines her family tree. She painted herself as a little girl holding a ribbon that connects all the people in her family. The girl is standing in the patio of the Blue House, which is now the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City.
Self-portrait Dedicated To Leon Trotsky (1937). National Museum of Women in the Arts
Frida had an affair with Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky when he was exiled in Mexico. After their brief relationship, she painted this self-portrait, where she is holding a note that says “with all my love.”
Fulang Chang And I (1937). Museum of Modern Art
After her accident, Frida’s uterus was very damaged, and it was impossible for her to have children. Therefore, she had some pets that she treated like her children. One of them was Fulang Chang, a spider monkey that appears in many of her self-portraits.
Still Life: Pitahayas (1938). Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
Pitahayas are fruits that could easily describe Frida: a fuchsia color on the outside that reflects her empowerment, while a white interior tells about her sensibility. The painter added a skeleton, which was originally smiling, but then she changed the smile for a frown.
Self-portrait With Monkey (1938). Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Fulang Chang was one of Frida's favorite pet animals. This is one of many times she portrayed herself accompanied by the spider monkey.
The Suicide Of Dorothy Hale (1939). Phoenix Museum of Art
After the actress Dorothy Hale committed suicide, her best friend Claire Boothe Luce commissioned Frida Kahlo to paint a portrait of her. Frida painted exactly what happened: the woman jumping out of the window of a tall building. The friend didn’t like it and wanted to destroy it, but was convinced not to do it.
Self-portrait With Thorn Necklace And Hummingbird (1940). University of Texas at Austin.
After Frida’s affair with photographer Nickolas Murray and her divorce from Diego Rivera in 1939, she felt broken. She painted this self-portrait where she is wearing a thorn necklace that symbolizes her pain, but also includes his spider monkey and a black cat.
Still Life With Parrot And Fruit (1951). University of Texas at Austin.
In her last years, Frida preferred to paint still lives rather than self-portraits because it was easier for her. She had to depend on medications to bear the pain she suffered, mainly in her spine, which was very damaged after the accident she had when she was 18, when the bus she was riding on her way back home crashed with a tram.
Self-portrait With Cropped Hair (1940). Museum of Modern Art
One of the most important characteristics in Frida is her long hair styled in braids crowning her head, but after she found out that Diego cheated on her with her own sister, she decided to cut all of her hair. This is one of those paintings that help us understand Frida’s life better.
Weeping Coconuts (1951). Los Angeles County Museum of Art
What people know the most about Frida are her self-portraits, but another way of portraying herself and her feelings was through still lives. Here she painted a couple of coconuts, and one of them seems to be crying. An element that represents her love of Mexico, such as the flag, is also there.
If you are not able to visit all of these museums, but want to know more about Frida Kahlo, you can check out this project by Google Arts & Culture.
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**Frida Kahlo artworks copyright © 2018 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York