In the past decade, the name Frida Kahlo has become synonymous with the image of a strong independent female artist. Formerly overshadowed by her husband the muralist Diego Rivera, Frida found her tribe within the surrealist movement as she put her dreams and mystical insights into her paintings.
Born and based in Mexico City, Kahlo was rebellious and independent but a passionate ally to her friends. The artists that swirled around her where drawn by her magnetic personality and distinct artistic talent.
Her most famous self-portraits have been replicated and reproduced on bags, socks, umbrellas, puzzles, etc – perhaps corrupting her original intention, but certainly broadcasting the awareness of her work beyond the art world elite. For many, she is the first female artist that comes to mind in all of art history.
She is for Perch co-founder Norma I. Quintana, a symbol of Latina power, grace and style – so much that she named her youngest daughter, adopted from China after Frida. Quintana has long been collecting images of Frida, including a black & white portrait by photographer Imogen Cunningham.
Here is a reenactment recently done by Norma with artist Mary Graham (@mary.graham.art) of Frida Kahlo at work. (photograph © 1932 The Detroit Institute of Arts).
images: Frida Kahlo in blue satin blouse, 1939, photograph by Nickolas Muray
The Two Fridas, 1939 by Frida Kahlo
Frida in her studio, reenactment with Mary Graham by Norma I. Quintana