105 years ago today, Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón was born in Mexico. For many she was simply Frida. Our Frida. As is the fate of most visionaries, she wasn’t as appreciated during her time on this earth as she was once she left it at the age 47. Her work, style, bravado, and wit, still continues to inspire around the world.
We’ve gathered 20 of our favorite Frida quotes to celebrate her birthday; because her words remain as striking as her paintings.
1. I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.
2. Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?
3. I paint flowers so they will not die.
4. There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.
5. I love you more than my own skin.
6. The most interesting thing about the so-called lies of Diego is that, sooner or later, the ones involved in the imaginary tale get angry, not because of the lies, but because of the truth contained in the lies, which always comes forth.
7. I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.
8. 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. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.
9. They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.
10. I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.
11. I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.
12. I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.
13. At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.
14. Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.
15. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.
16. They are so damn “intellectual” and rotten that I can’t stand them anymore….I would rather sit on the floor in the market of Toluca and sell tortillas, than have anything to do with those “artistic” bitches of Paris.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.
20. Really, I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself.