Frida Kahlo: The Loves of Her Life

Activity Steps:

An artwork can reflect both who the artist is and what he or she loves. In this activity you will create a poem that conveys Frida Kahlo's identity and celebrates the loves of her life.

Activity Steps

1. Brainstorm:
Brainstorm a list of ideas about how a person expresses love.
2. View:
View the screen 'The Faces of Frida.' Read the text and watch the video on the lower right-hand corner of the screen two times.
3. Respond:
As you watch the first time, jot down words, ideas, images, symbols, thoughts, feelings and reactions to what you see. The second time, record your responses to the 'Screen Questions' (at the bottom of the screen) in a writing journal. What do you think Kahlo meant when she said, 'Nobody will ever know how much I love Diego. I don't want anything to hurt him and rob him of the energy of living'? Kahlo describes all she would like to give to Rivera. She says, 'If I had good health I'd give him all of it…if I had youth he could take it all.' What would you give to someone you love? In all relationships, there are ambiguous feelings. Kahlo seems conflicted as she describes her relationship with Rivera. She says, 'He was never mine, and never will be. He belongs to himself.' What do you think she means? Have you ever felt the way she has? In the video we get information from the words we hear, and the images we see. What do Kahlo and Rivera's gestures convey? How do they sit and move together? How do they look at each other? Based on what you've observed, what insights can you suggest about their relationship? Choose two lines from the video that you think best capture their relationship. When you are finished, share your responses with your classmates. Look at Kahlo's self-portraits. Think about how they carry a message about something she loves. Discuss your ideas with a classmate.
4. Analyze:
View the 'Kahlo's Wedding Portrait' screen. What are some of the details that you notice in the painting Frida and Diego Rivera that may give you insight into how she views her relationship with Rivera and his role in her life? Make a list of your ideas and discuss it with a classmate. Compare the differences and similarities in your thoughts and ideas.
5. Create:
Create a poem based on the painting Frida and Diego Rivera and what you learned in the interactive feature about Kahlo's love for Rivera. Describe the sights, sounds, movements, gestures, and feelings of characters in your poem. Use words that capture Kahlo's love and passion, and incorporate colors, textures, tones, and emotions in your work. Then write a poem about something or someone you love. What does this love mean to you? How can your portray this relationship through metaphors?
6. Present:
Share your work with your classmates by staging a class performance of your poetry.
7. Reflect:
In your journal, reflect on your classmates' poems. What did you learn from listening to them? How did they help you understand Kahlo's work? How did the poems you wrote help you understand how love can be expressed through art?