Frida Kahlo

When I first started taking art classes as a young adult, I had an amazing art teacher, whose inspiration was Frida. Maybe it was then, that I too became in awe of the beautiful Mexican artist. Whatever, it may be, I find myself thinking of her often, when I draw, paint, create art. 

So last weekend, I headed over to Artisphere, which had an art exhibit featuring the fabulous Frida Kahlo. It was quite fascinating because the walls of the gallery were not covered by her work, but rather by her personal photos. 

By displaying her photos, viewers reached a better understanding of the truth behind her art. It made me say,”Oh so that is why she drew that…” I also always thought of Frida as untouchable, famous, brilliant, insane, but while looking at her photos I saw her, as a human, a woman just like myself. A woman, who has a father, mother, sisters, lovers, one that gets injured, feels pain, cares for animals, longs for children…

I never really noticed the fashion before in her self portraits. But that is all I could focus on when I stared photo after photo. Some of it, of corse went with the era, but others did not. I saw a woman wearing a one shoulder dress that was stunning. And although, most of the fashion was vintage it all had complicated details, showing it’s quality and expense. 

I compared a portrait of Frida, to her sister’s. The fashion revealed their opposite personalities. Her sister, was very classic, traditional, and well groomed. Frida on the other hand, had amazing fashion sense, with chunky jewelry, rings on each finger, and dangling earrings. 

I always thought Frida drew herself very ugly, but the photos reveal the opposite, I finally saw her as a true natural beauty. I am a hairstylist so of course I noticed the hair. Her hair was absolutely amazing and very feminine, braided, twisted, buns, ribbons, flowers.  Although, quite beautiful, and fashion forward, her facial hair made her seem quite masculine. The eyebrows that she later became known for, were wild and unkept.

Most of the photos were taken in the early 1900s. It totally impressed me, in how amazing the photos were and how well they held up.  The photos were beautifully taken, some by her father, who was a professional photographer, and actually some by Frida herself. 

The bottom line is , I found that I could really relate to this art exhibit. Although, the photos were old black and white and made by film, while current photos are in color and digital. Her’s may be an albums displayed on walls of a gallery, while ours’ may be displayed on a social networking site. But in the end, we all take photos to covet memories, to tell a story, and to share with others, while recording fashion, an era, a lifetime.  Times have changed so much, but have they really?

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