Published: 17th September 2021
#ThrowbackToday: The accident that crushed artist Frida Kahlo's body, but not her spirit
In today's #TBT, we talk about artist Frida Kahlo who met with an accident at the tender age of 18 and dealt with the consequences of it throughout her lifetime. But in no way did that stop her
Overcast and gray conditions prevailed upon the day of September 17, 1925, in Mexico when 18-year-old Frida Kahlo and her friend Alejandro Gómez Arias boarded a bus. An oncoming streetcar crashed into the bus, severely injuring Kahlo. Pelvic bone, abdomen, uterus, spine, shoulder, collarbone and a few vertebraes — these were the casualties within Kahlo's body.
Being bed-ridden for months on end was tough for Kahlo but she did not abandon her dreams of painting. Via a specially-made lap easel, she continued to paint. And the subject of her paintings? She herself. With the help of an overhead mirror in her bed’s canopy, she started painting her famous self-portraits, in most of which she donned traditional Mexican costumes and that iconic unibrow as well. But the ailments that the accident gave her caused her grief throughout her life. Many say that her oil on canvas work titled The Bus (1929) harks back to the bus accident. The Broken Column (1994) depicts the metal and leatherback brace she wore due to the accident.
Kahlo developed major complications, yes, but she did not let the accident take over her life. Even though she had to be brought into her first solo exhibition in an ambulance, she raged on.