Frida Kahlo Quotes

1907 - 1954

Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907 - 1954) sits with her arms folded, looking down, in front of one of her paintings and a wooden bird cage. She wears flowers in her hair and a wooden necklace
Frida Kahlo. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, stricken with polio as a child and injured badly in an accident when she was 18, struggled with pain and disability all her life. Her paintings reflect a modernist take on folk art and integrate her experience of suffering. Frida Kahlo was married to artist Diego Rivera.

Selected Frida Kahlo Quotations

• 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.

• At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.

• My painting carries with it the message of pain.

• Painting completed my life.

• I paint flowers so they will not die.

• 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 am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.

• There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.

• His capacity for work breaks clocks and calendars. [on Diego Rivera]

• I cannot speak of Diego as my husband because that term, when applied to him, is an absurdity. He never has been, nor will he ever be, anybody’s husband.

• 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.

• 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. [on Andre Breton and the European surrealists]

• I never knew I was a surrealist till Andre Breton came to Mexico and told me I was.

• O'Keefe was in the hospital for three months, she went to Bermuda for a rest. She didn't make love to me that time, I think on account of her weakness. Too bad.

• I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.

• Through her paintings, she breaks all the taboos of the woman's body and of female sexuality. [Diego Rivera on Frida Kahlo]

•  I recommend her to you, not as a husband but as an enthusiastic admirer of her work, acid and tender, hard as steel and delicate and fine as a butterfly’s wing, lovable as a beautiful smile, and as profound and cruel as the bitterness of life. [Diego Rivera on Frida Kahlo]

• The art of Frida Kahlo is a ribbon around a bomb. [Andre Breton about Frida Kahlo]

About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

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Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Frida Kahlo Quotes." ThoughtCo, Mar. 24, 2017, Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2017, March 24). Frida Kahlo Quotes. Retrieved from Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Frida Kahlo Quotes." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 20, 2018).