Frida Kahol

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Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo's Arts & Crafts

Frida Kahlo, famous for over 50 stunning and provocative self-portraits, was a Mexican artist living near Mexico City during the first half of the 20th C. Despite little recognition in her own life, Frida's popularity soared during the 1980's and the Mexican art movement known as Neomexicanismo.

Frida's art capitulates revolution, pain, sexuality, and psychological suffering. While her work embodies the European influences of realism, symbolism and surrealism, the end result is purely Mexican. On of her most famous paintings is The Blue House, and it's a painting of her childhood home in Coyoacan, Mexico.

Another provocative work by Frida Kahlo is her The Suicide of Dorothy Hale. Originally Clare Booth Luce commissioned a recuerdo, an idealized memorial portrait, from Frida, but when the piece was delivered, Luce was shocked. The Suicide of Dorothy Hale is in fact a retablo, a visual narrative that graphically tolls the story of Hale's death and depicts her lying dead on the New York street.

Luce was so horrified that she rejected the piece, and after it was returned to her decades later, she anonymously donated the work to the Phoenix Art Museum, where it still hangs today, although it frequently tours the country on exhibit.

Kahlo's life and art has become iconic in many political streams in this country and others. Frida's openly bisexual nature has made her an icon in the LGBT? Community. Her communist political leanings make her a star amongst the liberal and even anarchist groups all of the country. Feminist groups love her.

In this way, Frida kitsch is everywhere. Liberal soccer moms have Frida bags. Hipster kids have Frida posters covering the windows of their basement apartments. Hippies wear Frida earrings, and I know at least one lesbian with a Frida Kahlo tattoo.

Today, we're in the middle of Frida-mania. With the 2002 film, Frida, starring Selma Hayek and thousands of Altered Art crafts popping up on Etsy .com and eBay, there's no denying it: people love Frida Kahlo. One of my friend has this giant oversized Frida Kahlo bag. And a Frida Kahlo bracelet. It's crazy. The woman's stuff is everywhere.


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