Why does Frida Kahlo’s fame outshine other women artists?

Audiences are currently in the grip of ‘Frida fever’ thanks to a blockbuster show at AGSA. But why does this artist’s fame shine brighter than that of other women artists?
Two self-portrait paintings by Frida Kahlo, presented side by side

The Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA)’s major exhibition, Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution, has recently opened and is attracting strong audiences. One of its main drawcards is modern art icon Frida Kahlo.

But in her lifetime, Kahlo’s work received little attention. She presented only one solo show in her homeland before her premature death at 47 and, during what should have been her heyday, she was best known as the romantic partner of Mexican modern art hero Diego Rivera.

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ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).