About Self-Portrait with Monkeys Monkeys make a constant appearance in Frida Kahlo’s work. In fact, eight of the large number of self-portraits she painted in her lifetime feature spider monkeys.
Frida kept monkeysas pets. To her, monkeys symbolized the children that she was never able to bear because of the injuries sustained following a horrific bus accident in 1925.
At the time, Frida was teaching at the School of Painting and Sculpture in Mexico City. Due to ill health, she held classes in her home. The class dwindled to only four loyal students, who coined themselves “Los Fridos”. The four monkeys in the painting may represent her students.
About Frida Kahlo Frida Kahlo’s life story is almost as popular as her art. Born in 1907, Frida Kahlo was a self-taught Mexican painter best known for starkly depicting her chronic physical and emotional pain through her art. Of her 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits. Kahlo said, “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.” Although she rejected the label, she is often identified as a Surrealist.