One of the main things which have influenced and affected Frida in many ways has been the family environment she grew up in. First off, the marriage of her parents wasn’t exactly great and they were actually quite unhappy. The second factor was that Frida had 3 other sisters, two of them older, so she grew up with a large circle of females around her, with constant conflicts, and this is what made Frida spend most of her life close to her father. The second and perhaps the most important factor affecting her life and artwork was probably the deformities she got throughout her life due to accidents and illnesses.
The first one was at age six when she fell sick with polio and it left one of her legs looking thinner than the other, and she hid it most of her life by wearing long skirts. But the most radical accident happened when Frida was 18 years old, she was riding a bus which collided with a trolley car. The injuries she received were grand – a broken collar bone, a broken spinal column, broken pelvis and ribs, fractures in right leg, dislocated foot and shoulder, and when an iron bar pierced her stomach, it damaged the uterus.
Frida spent a lot of time in recovery, but for the injuries she received, the recovery time seemed fast, although excruciatingly painful. In most of her paintings and self portraits, it is easy to see the sad and depressed face of Frida, regarding to the struggles she is going through, she first began painting during her long hospital stays. Frida first met Diego Rivera (the most famous of Mexican muralists and a very strong political force) as a high school student and was fascinated with him ever since, despite the fact that he was as her friends would say “the disgusting fat old man”.
They have met again after Frida’s accident 3 years later, and he was fascinated with her infatuation of him, and they married a year later. As Herb Kernecker describes in his book When in Mexico, Do as the Mexicans Do, “what started on that day was anything but a marital bliss. For Frida it was a roller-coaster ride of intense creativity, travel, betrayal, international success, infidelity, and excesses; suspicion of participating in Russian Leon Trotsky’s assassination; Diego’s exile, separation, and divorce; and amputation of a leg – all the while celebrating life.
Last but not least, another great effect on her work was cast from the fact that she couldn’t have children as a result of the bus accident, and it is something she portrayed in a great amount of her paintings. It was something which may have actually changed her life, could make her a happier person, but was never meant to be, not for Frida at least. As Sandra Kemp wrote in her book ” her paintings represent the moment of abjection which institutes a flickering in and out of existence of bail, permeable boundaries between inside and outside, pleasure and pain”.
Many people say that if it were not for Frida’s struggles, she might have never became who she is now – an icon of pain and suffering, but someone who was able to show to the world of what she has felt. Although it is hard to say if its something Frida wanted to do from the beginning of her life – to paint, it is easy to say why she began doing it. It is also easy to conclude and say that among little daily problems, the things that influenced Frida the most were her medical problems, her troubled childhood and the political background.