Grew Up… in Mexico City with her German Jewish father and Mexican mother. She came of age during a revolutionary time in Mexico’s history.
Living… in the 1930s in Mexico City in a constant state of intense pain. When she was 18, Frida was injured in a trolley crash that shattered her back, requiring her to wear a body cast and to undergo years of physical therapy. To help her escape from her pain, her father brought her a canvas and a brush, and she has been painting ever since.
Visiting… New York City. She is traveling with her husband, the famous artist Diego Rivera, so that he can paint the mural, Man at the Crossroads, at the Rockefeller Center. For so many reasons, the trip is not ending up the way they thought it would.
Profession… surrealist painter. Frida channels the pain she has had in her life into colorful and complex self-portraits. As beautiful as her works are, though, they often get overshadowed by Diego’s immense murals.
Relationship Status… a constant drama. Frida met her much older husband when he was married to someone else. Although his wife at the time, Lupe, caught Diego and Frida in bed together, Diego has somehow remained friends with Lupe; she even brings Frida and Diego breakfast in bed. Now that Frida is married to Diego, Diego has been cheating on her too. But Frida is not a woman to wait around. She has taken on a number of men and women as lovers including Leon Trostsky (a Mexican revolutionary), Josephine Baker (a famous actress), and Gracie (Diego’s ex-mistress).
Challenge… accepting Diego for who he is. She’s attracted to the very things that lead him to hurt her. He is her best friend, the one who understands her more than anyone, and yet he is the lousiest of husbands. He belongs only to himself. At least she knows it’s not her fault – that he could never be a husband to anyone. As Frida says, “What matters most for a good marriage is a short memory. Diego is psychologically incapable of fidelity. He told me before we were married. I didn't believe him. I should have.”
Personality… damaged, passionate, and headstrong. Frida was truly unlucky two times in her life – the trolley accident, and meeting Diego. Somehow, the trolley accident proved easier to handle. She doesn’t hunger for the spotlight the way Diego does, nor is she granted it as a woman. But she doesn’t let the double standards of society affect her. She does everything she can to live her life to the fullest.
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