The Women Artist Behind My Creative Inspiration -Frida Kahlo - Rachel Vogeleisen Prints

The Women Artist Behind My Creative Inspiration -Frida Kahlo

I can’t remember the first time I came across Frida Kahlo’s name? Her work must have attracted my eye before I knew who she was. The vibrant colours and the intense gaze in her artwork were something I was drawn to. She was fierce, defiant, independent and undoubtedly rebellious I was mesmerised by the whole package. 

My love of her work and who she was as a person has grown gradually, certainly more in the last few years. I had recently thought of writing about her influence on my work, and my interest has been rekindled through the Frida Kahlo documentary on the BBC.

The first thing that struck me was the hardship that Frida had to go through from a young age. She got polio at 6 and had a horrific accident in her 20s. One wonders how she could survive that terrible accident with a metal pole piercing her body. Surgery was not that well advanced at the beginning of the 20th century, and she was predicted not to survive that terrible accident, but she did, and it was also a catharsis for her work.

You have to give the women a lot of credit. She was a fantastic artist and a defender of human rights fighting for the rights of workers under the influence of Diego Rivera. She wanted to leave her mark on the world, and she did. She is even more veneered today than she ever was. She symbolises creative freedom, feminism and a mix of rebellion and fighting for the underdog. Her artwork is bold, straight to the point, screaming into your face rather than subtle. At the time, she was not afraid to let herself express herself about abortion, miscarriage and giving birth. She was an open book about her life and. At the time Mexico was the playground for women like Tina Modotti finding their own way and Frida was greatly inspired like by them. Here again, we have a woman who had to fight to go against the mainstream idea of a woman being a passive object. No wonder I admire her.

With Artemisia Gentileschi, Frida Kahlo is one of the artists who has inspired my artwork and creativity. I first worked on a project of creating a nuanced art portrait celebrating Frida. This was my first step into fine art, and I was lucky to find a great team supporting my ideas. The model was perfect for emulating Frida, and the make artist understood my creative vision perfectly. She even managed to get a designer on board for the headpiece. I had sourced my jewellery and some clothing for the more baroque items I rented at the theatre.

The image I created is pretty classic; I didn’t take any risk and saw these portraits as an hommage to Frida. But Frida deserved much better than I created.

Frida Kahlo Inspired Portrait


She has been such a significant influence in m quest to celebrate the freedom and independence of women, celebrating trailblazers and giving a voice to women who didn’t have one via my photography project, the quiet rebellion. Her artistic style appeals to me because it reminds me of the flamboyant baroque and renaissance style, with solid poses, gazes and primary colours. She also put much of her personal story and personality into her work.

While navigating through the BBC documentary, I discovered the murals of Diego Rivera. I had never realised how much his work was about a country and its people. While their love story was another hardship for Frieda, constantly batting with Diego’s infidelity and her having affairs with famous men like Trotski and women alike. Still, they indeed were a catalyst for each others’ work. Diego’s painting influenced Frida’s artwork and even more so her self-portraiture.

As Frida Kahlo famously said, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best." Frida's work, life, and spirit have been a major source of inspiration for me and countless other creatives worldwide. From her fearless use of colours, to her thoughtful and courageous exploration of her identity in her art, her legacy continues to live on and speak powerfully to people all over the world. Her art has been a bright source of courage and determination that helps me to express my most creative and authentic self. We can all take a leaf out of Frida's book on how to be bravely and fearlessly ourselves. Let us remember Frida's courage and create a little more of our own.

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