André Breton Friends Frida Kahlo

In 1938, Kahlo met André Breton, who helped arrange for some exhibits of her work. After a few minor exhibitions as well as one major solo exhibit at the Julian Levy Gallery of New York City, word about Kahlo’s art started to spread.

In April, French poet and surrealist André Breton and his wife, the painter Jacqueline Lamba, visit Mexico in order to meet Trotsky. They stay with Guadalupe Marin, Diego Rivera's previous wife, and meet the Kahlo-Riveras. When Breton sees Kahlo's unfinished "What the Water Gave Me", the metaphorical self-portrait of what life had given her - floating on the water of her bathtub - he immediately labels her an innate "surrealist", and offers to show her work in Paris.

In 1938 André Breton arrived to Mexico, with an prearranged glance to find the surrealism in this country, and finded Frida; immediately he circumscribed her as one part the essence of the surrealist movement and wrote an essay to her „a strip of silk around a pump”. This label of surrealism of the work of Frida Kahlo is one of the “mistakes” that have been continued between the massive public with respect to their classification and understanding.

… they thought I was surrealist, but I was not. I never painted my dreams, I only painted my own reality.”

— Frida Kahlo