Frida Kahlo © Marisela Rumberg

Frida Kahlo

Marisela Rumberg

Annandale, Virginia, USA

Artist Statement

I admire Frida Kahlo because of her passion and her indomitable strength to overcome the tremendous obstacles life put in her way. One of the most important Mexican artists, she lived from 1907 to 1954. Polio at age 6 permanently damaged her leg but still she took up swimming, soccer and wrestling. At 18, she suffered a broken back and pelvis and being impaled through the hip by a large metal pole in a bus crash.

Later she suffered miscarriages, many surgeries, and many betrayals. But she never stopped living her life to the fullest and enjoying her two passions: Diego Rivera, the love of her life her husband, and painting, through which she expressed her lifelong physical pain and feelings about her world.

A non-traditional beauty with her iconic eyebrows and a bit of a mustache, the self-taught artist mostly painted self-portraits. She protested Andre Breton’s description of her style as surrealist, saying, “I’m not painting my dreams, this is my actual life.”

She proudly celebrated traditional Mexican culture in her paintings and clothing. Losing a leg to gangrene she responded, “Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” And fly she did – Frida and her work went all over the world. She was the first 20th century Mexican artist whose work was purchased by the Louvre. I admire her as the Mexican woman that I am, too.

Friducha is Diego’s nickname for her
Pies (Feet)
Alas (Wings)
Corazon (Heart)

Woman’s Groundbreaking Accomplishment

Passionate, suffering endlessly and blazing trails; Frida Kahlo was the first 20th century Mexican artist whose work was purchased by the Louvre.


This is a whole cloth quilt. Painted with textile paint, the first part was to paint the face and then I stitched over it very densely. I free motion quilted (without marking) all the Zentangle designs in the body and around the head. I used Fabrico markers and textile paint to create the gray tones for shading. Last step was to paint the background in green and free motion hearts as the filler design.


Cotton fabric and batting, textile paint, fabrico markers and gellatos, cotton and polyester thread.

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