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Moore, W.P. (1992). On the Study of a Damaged Body Image in Terms of Creativity: Frida Kahlo.. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 20(1):151-153.

(1992). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 20(1):151-153

On the Study of a Damaged Body Image in Terms of Creativity: Frida Kahlo.

William P. Moore, M.D.

Stephen Remen presents a persuasive study of art as therapy for the artist. He uses as his example Frida Kahlo, who had both a damaged body and body image. There are many events in Kahlo's early life that could easily be regarded as traumatic.

She was born in 1907; at age 3 she was witness to the fighting of the Mexican Revolution. Her family was going through hard times: Her father was unemployed and withdrawn. Her mother struggled to keep the family from starving. At six she contracted polio with residual shortening deformity of her right leg. She was brutally teased by her peers, but she fought back.

At the early age of 13 she was infatuated with Diego Rivera, the muralist, who was already world famous. She fantasized about having his child. In her teens she had a near fatal accident. She was struck by a streetcar, further damaging her right side with multiple fractures. A steel rod fractured her pelvis and penetrated her vagina. Subsequently she endured 30 surgical procedures to repair the damage.

She began painting seriously after the accident. Upon recovery from the initial effects she took three of her paintings to Diego Rivera. This led to their living together for 2 years before their marriage. In 1932 she had a miscarriage, and was never able to have a child.

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