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Frida Kahlo: The story of her torrid and diverse romances

Frida had many lovers but her heart always belonged to Diego Rivera, the iconic Mexican painter.

Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo Calderón, better known as Frida Kahlo, was a renowned Mexican painter who created around 150 works, mostly self-portraits showing her life story and suffering.

Kahlo created her own style, as she considered that her paintings were not part of surrealism. She took aspects of her life and mixed them with elements of nature and Mexican identity.

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She also became a feminist icon thanks to the way she lived her sexuality and her way of opposing standards since, in addition to living an intense and stormy love affair with the painter Diego Rivera, she also shared torrid romances with other men and women.

Chavela Vargas

At the age of 80, Costa Rican singer Chavela Vargas publicly admitted her sexual preferences, confessing that she had a love affair with Frida Kahlo. Although there is no evidence to prove that this romance was real, Frida wrote a letter to the poet Carlos Pellicer in which she tells him about her first encounter with the singer, stating that she would not hesitate to undress for her if she asked him to do so.

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Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky is one of Frida’s most renowned lovers. They met while the Russian revolutionary was in exile in Mexico. Actually, it was Frida’s husband Diego Rivera, who pledged to the Mexican government for Trotsky’s exile. They started their affair while Trotsky and his wife were staying at Frida’s famous Casa Azul de Coyoacan in Mexico City.

There are rumors that Frida started this romance as revenge for her husband, Diego Rivera, for his multiple infidelities, one of them with the artist’s sister.

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Alejandro Gómez Arias

He was the youthful love of Frida and one of the most important men in her life since he was present at the time of the bus accident that marked the painter’s life.

Their relationship was secret, as it is said that they did not have the approval of Frida’s parents.

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Nickolas Muray

Frida’s relationship with the American photographer Nick Muray was romantic and long-lasting; however, the painter decided to end the relationship due to her love for Mexican painter Diego Rivera.

The photographer took portraits of the artist; in some of them, she even posed partially nude.

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Isamu Noguchi

Frida and the sculptor began their relationship in the mid-1930s. It is said that the artists were about to buy an apartment together, but their plans did not come to fruition, as they were discovered by Diego Rivera and were forced to end the relationship.

Jacqueline Lamba

The French painter Jacqueline Lamba and Frida met when Jacqueline escaped with her husband André Breton from the WWII scenery and took refuge in Frida’s house.

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The relationship was marked in the letters and poems Frida wrote to Jacqueline:

“The boat and the dock and the going, that was making you so small, from my eyes, imprisoned in that round window that you looked at to keep me in your heart. All that is intact. Then came the days, new of you. Today, I would like my sun to touch you,” this reads in a letter from the painter.

Diego Rivera

Diego is considered by many as Frida’s greatest love, despite being a tumultuous relationship full of infidelities on both sides. They married twice, the artist’s parents opposed the first time because the muralist was 20 years older than Frida.

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The painter’s art was influenced, in part, by her relationship with Diego. After Frida’s death, the muralist mentioned that she had been the best thing that had happened to him in his life. For Frida it might’ve been a bit different:

“I suffered two serious accidents in my life: one was from the streetcar, the other one was Diego. Diego was the worst of them both.”

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Despite the various infidelities on both sides, Diego Rivera and Frida’s was a relationship that lasted until the end of the artist’s days.

Frida Kahlo was undoubtedly the representation of women in a male-dominated environment and a woman who lived her sexuality freely, forgetting the prejudices that existed at the time, becoming an icon of feminism and the LGBT community.

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Story originally published in Cultura Colectiva in Spanish

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