Born July 6, 1907, in Mexico City as Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon, Frida Kahlo is one of the most influential artists in history. Her recognizable style blends bold colors and glimpses of Mexican culture, depicting immense pain and passion. While she died in 1954 at the age of 47, her legacy lives on in museums, prints, and art history books worldwide today.
Though Kahlo is regarded as one of the world’s most famous artists, many don’t know she was studying to become a doctor before a tragic accident that changed the course of her life. When she was 18, she got into a bus accident that nearly killed her. Kahlo sustained life-altering injuries to the spine, collarbone, ribs, pelvis, feet, and shoulders. Hospitalized and immobilized in a full-body cast, she would undergo 30 operations to repair her injuries. But instead of succumbing to despair during this time, Frida Kahlo began painting.
The accident was one of many painful struggles Frida Kahlo endured during her lifetime. She developed polio at age six, causing one of her legs to be shorter than the other, and she described life with her parents as tense and loveless. Then, in her twenties, she married famed Mexican artist and political figure, Diego Rivera. Unfortunately, he had multiple affairs during their marriage, including one with Kahlo’s younger sister, and they divorced twice. Shortly after, Kahlo contracted gangrene, resulting in one of her legs being amputated. This experience led her into a severe depression that she managed with heavy drinking. Though her cause of death was a pulmonary embolism, some believe she lost her battle with substance abuse and overdosed.
Despite her painful experiences, Frida Kahlo created 200 beautiful pieces of art throughout her life. Each piece, whether a painting, sketch, or drawing, illustrates a deeply intimate time of struggle and heartache. Frida Kahlo had no doubt suffered more pain, physical and emotional, than most. But she transformed her struggle into moments of strength through painting. She used this form of expression to share her story with others, channel her heartache, heal, and find her inner voice. Kahlo’s process of coping with life’s challenges and turning them into something beautiful is so powerful, it still inspires people a century later.
Tap into your inner strength with these 30 famous Frida Kahlo quotes as you face challenges of your own. Her words will provide inspiration and renewed hope during times of adversity.
30 Frida Kahlo Quotes for Strength and Inspiration
Frida Kahlo’s quotes provide wisdom and glimmers of transformative self-reflection about life, love, and happiness.
Frida Kahlo Quotes About Life
“Painting completed my life.”
“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”
“I don’t paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.”
“My painting carries with it the message of pain.”
“I hope the exit is joyful. And I hope never to return.”
“I paint flowers so they will not die.”
“They thought I was a surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”
“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”
“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”
“Only one mountain can know the core of another mountain.”
“Pain, pleasure, and death are no more than a process for existence. The revolutionary struggle in this process is a doorway open to intelligence.”
“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.”
“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”
“What I wanted to express very clearly and intensely was that the reason these people had to invent or image heroes and gods is pure fear. Fear of life and fear of death.”
“Really, I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself.”
“The most important thing for everyone in Gringolandia is to have ambition and become ‘somebody,’ and frankly, I don’t have the least ambition to become anybody.”
“I drank to drown my sorrows, but the damned things learned how to swim.”
“The most powerful art is to make pain a healing talisman.”
Frida Kahlo Quotes About Love
“I love you more than my own skin.”
“I am that clumsy human, always loving, loving, loving. And loving. And never leaving.”
“I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.”
“Your word travels the entirety of space and reaches my cells which are my stars then goes to yours which are my light.”
“Can verbs be made up? I’ll tell you one. I heaven you, so my wings will open wide to love you boundlessly. I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.”
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too.”
“Passion is the bridge that takes you from pain to change.”
Frida Kahlo Quotes About Happiness
“You deserve the best, the very best, because you are one of the few people in this lousy world who are honest to themselves, and that is the only thing that really counts.”
“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.”
“I must fight with all my strength so that the little positive things that my health allows me to do might be pointed toward helping the revolution. The only real reason for living.”
“I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to better.”
“Don’t build a wall around your suffering. It may devour you from the inside.”
Why Frida’s Legacy Lives Today
Frida Kahlo’s art represents strength and beauty during her darkest moments. Her story shows us that we can overcome even the most painful experiences as humans. Maybe you’re struggling with a job loss, the death of a loved one, bankruptcy, or work burnout. Challenges will always come and go. It’s how you transform those challenges into opportunities for growth and inspiration. This is what Frida Kahlo’s legacy teaches us.
Continue with more inspirational quotes about strength that can help carry you through life’s challenges.