Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Frida Abundancia!

This year's "Frida" themed birthday gifts

Yes, I admire artist, Frida Kahlo. This has been evident for the past 35 years. I love the surrealism of her paintings. I love how she adapted traditional Mexican dress into her life. I admire her perseverance while suffering great physical pain. 
I became acquainted with Frida's artwork and her story almost 35 years ago. I was lucky to attend an exhibition of her work in 1987 at Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Heights. It was so enlightening to see these paintings in person. Most are rather small. Frida was plagued with pain due to polio as a youth and also a severe bus accident when she was young, so she had to paint sitting down, hence the smaller canvases. 
"Frida and Diego Rivera," 1931. Wedding portrait by Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo was married to artist, Diego Rivera. He was a very well known muralist. In the art world, from the 1920's through the 1970's Kahlo was primarily known as Rivera's wife. During the 1970's her work was looked at more closely and she became known more for her activism and as an icon for Chicanos, feminists, the LGBTQ movement. Her face is everywhere now!
I purchased the painting, "Frida, Pain and Glory," by artist Sonya Fe in early July. This prompted a few of my friends to gift me with Frida-themed gifts for my birthday this year!
Diane crocheted a wonderful amigurumi key chain of Frida!
Diane's amigurumi crocheted keychain, "Frida." I added the earrings!
Natalie sewed and quilted a beautiful bag, using a replica of Don Loper's palm frond fabric as a background with an applique of Frida on the front and a garland of flowers on the back.  I love that palm frond fabric, also known as "Martinique." It's so Beverly Hills!  I even noticed a white on white Tapa cloth double pocket inside. Oh, that Natalie!

"Frida" tote by Miss Natalie of Hollywood. Front
"Frida" tote, back
Larry went overboard and found the Mattel, Barbie "Frida" doll for me on eBay. It seems that a grand niece of Frida Kahlo was not happy with the way Mattel interpreted Frida Kahlo or if Mattel even had the rights to Kahlo's image. The Frida/Barbie has stopped production for now. You can read about the controversy HERE. 
"Frida" doll by Mattel, part of the "Inspiring Women" series.

I must admit, this doll looks more like Barbie than Frida! Yesterday, I was telling Larry about how we used to play with our Barbies when we were kids. We'd march them around on the carpet, voicing all types of scenarios for them. Usually the stories were about shopping, boyfriends, going out to dances, etc.There were always many wardrobe changes. 
might have to take my other Barbie dolls out later today, along with Frida/Barbie and think of some underground, Communist scenario to stage. Larry suggested I find a tiny easel, canvas and paintbrush for Frida/Barbie. I was thinking something even Barbie in her dream roadster, careening off the road, smashing into Frida/Barbie's wheelchair. Then, we'd have to find some sort of Barbie ambulance to come roaring around the corner! Sorry. 
1962 Barbie had an Austin-Healey Sportscar

Maybe I could beef up an old Ken doll and make him look like Diego Rivera and work on some sort of destructive story with Frida and Diego! Oh the possibilities!
Ellen's vintage Barbie Dolls
Thank you again to ALL of my talented friends and family who helped me celebrate my birthday in a most wonderful way!

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At 5:07 AM PDT, Blogger ken bloom said...

When I was in high school I remember that Diego Rivera's work was displayed prominently to us but I didn't become aware of Frieda Kahlo until much later. That portrait that you now have I think is really wonderful. Maybe your Dark Frieda/Barbie scenarios would be a good way to do El Dia de Los Muertos next year. You could add in a supernatural component. The possibilities are endless.


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