Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo

Tim and Moby spot Frida's painting

Airdate February 1, 2008
Curriculum Arts & Music
Social Studies

Frida Kahlo launched in BrainPOP Arts & Music/Social Studies February 1, 2008.



Transcript and QuizEdit

Trivia Edit

  • The artwork that appears in this video is:
    • Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird - Frida Kahlo.
    • Self-Portrait with Monkeys - Frida Kahlo.
    • The Little Deer - Frida Kahlo.
    • St. Sebastian - Andrea Mantegna.
    • Two Fridas - Frida Kahlo.
    • Roots - Frida Kahlo.
    • Self-Portrait with the Portrait of Doctor Farill - Frida Kahlo.
  • It is possible that this episode takes place in the Albright–Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.

Errors Edit

  • Kahlo was six years old when she contracted polio, but Tim said she was seven when she contracted it.

FYI Edit




Here are some quotations from the incomparable Frida Kahlo!

  • “I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy as long as I can paint.”
  • “I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”
  • "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.”
  • "Painting completed my life.”
  • “My painting carries with it the message of pain.”
  • “Feet, why do I need them if I have wings to fly?”
  • “I hope the leaving is joyful; I hope never to return.”

Famous FacesEdit


Frida Kahlo was married twice to famed Mexican painter Diego Rivera. After spending time with painters and revolutionaries in Europe, Rivera returned to Mexico in 1921, convinced that art belonged to the public. He began to paint murals, which are paintings on walls.

Diego’s mural works dealt with everyday life in Mexico, but they also addressed history and contemporary social problems. Some of his murals were painted on buildings in the United States as well, although many people in America didn’t like his work because of his radical politics.

In fact in 1933, two orders for Rivera’s work were cancelled because of their potentially revolutionary politics—one of them included a portrait of Vladimir Lenin, one of the founding fathers of the Soviet Union. In response, Rivera returned to Mexico, where he recreated the mural on the wall of the Palacio de Bellas Artes, an art museum in Mexico City.

Kahlo had admired Rivera’s art when she was in school; they were married in 1929. Their marriage was unhappy, however, and they divorced in 1939. But they remarried a year later and stayed together until Kahlo’s death.

Sickness and HealthEdit


The long skirts Frida Kahlo wore throughout her whole life were partly to hide her right leg, which was crippled by the polio she contracted when she was six. Polio is a viral disease that attacks cells in the spinal column, which can cause permanent muscle weakness and paralysis.

Although it’s been around for thousands of years, polio was only described as a unique disease by Jakob Heine in 1840. Around 1890, cases of polio began to increase until, in 1916, an epidemic swept across the world.

Nearly 30,000 people, many of them children, were affected with polio that year. Franklin D. Roosevelt, America’s 32nd President, was unable to walk due to what he believed was polio, which increased public awareness of the disease. (It is now thought that it may well have been another nerve disease.)

In 1952, during a particularly active year for the polio virus, American biologist Jonas Salk developed a vaccine based on a virus grown in the kidney tissue of monkeys. And by 1961 the number of cases in the United States had dropped to just 161!

Although polio is still a problem in other parts of the world, it has been pretty much eradicated, or wiped out, in the United States.

Arts and EntertainmentEdit


Frida Kahlo was not particularly well-known at the time of her death; in fact, she was remembered mostly as Diego Rivera’s wife. It took years before she was recognized as one of the most important artists of the 20th century.

During the early 1980s, an artistic movement called Neomexicanismo took root in Mexico. Celebrating traditional Mexican art, it elevated Kahlo into a household name, and began a period of serious critical analysis of her life and work.

Contemporary Mexican artists began incorporating Kahlo’s images and themes into their own work; 1983 Mexican film biography called Frida: Naturaleza Viva (“Frida: Still Life”) was highly successful; and a biography by author Haydeen Herrera became an international best-seller.

In 2002, Herrera’s book was adapted into a major Hollywood movie by director Julie Taymor. Starring Salma Hayek in the title role and Alfred Molina as Diego Rivera, the movie Frida grossed more than $56 million worldwide and was nominated for six Academy Awards.

And when the 100th anniversary of Kahlo’s birth rolled around in 2007, the world celebrated her accomplishments. An enormous exhibition of her work was held in Mexico City, and smaller exhibits and programs were held in the United States, Cuba, the Philippines, Chile, and Germany. Fridamania, as it’s been called, remains in full effect!

Image: Frida Kahlo was the first Hispanic woman to appear on a U.S. postage stamp.

FYI Comic Edit

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