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Celebrating Frida Kahlo, a Mexican Feminist Icon We LOVE

July 06, 2021 3 min read

Happy 114th Birthday, Frida Kahlo! Today, we’re going to be talking about how Frida is a feminist icon, an emblem of Mexican culture, and one of our favorite muses. 

Frida was a feminist trailblazer from the start. She suffered from polio when she was a young child, and her father encouraged her to play sports to help her recover. She swam, played soccer, and wrestled, which was very uncommon for a girl in the 1910s. She also attended the National Preparatory School in Mexico City, and was one of only thirty-five female students. Frida became known for her outspoken nature and bravery. 

Drawing inspiration from Chicano culture and her personal life, the Frida Kahlo art style is unique in the best way. Her internal pain is juxtaposed with bright colors and lively motifs like parrots, monkeys, and plants. This visceral expression of her feelings allowed many viewers to be able to connect emotionally to her work, which helped her become one of the highest-selling women in art.

Frida explores many different concepts in her paintings, like her Mexican heritage, marriage to painter Diego Rivera, and chronic pain. Her self portraits are her hallmark, just like Monet’s water lilies or van Gogh’s sunflowers. Our favorite works of hers are Self Portrait, Dedicated to Dr Eloesser (1940) and Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940).

 

Frida Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera, https://www.kqed.org/news/11848986/inside-frida-kahlo-and-diego-riveras-life-in-san-francisco

 

“I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.” -Frida Kahlo

 

Self Portrait, Dedicated to Dr Eloesser (1940), www.fridakahlo.org

 

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940), www.fridakahlo.org

 

Annual Frida Kahlo Celebrations

Today, Frida is celebrated and remembered all over the world. In Mexico City, a 3-day art festival was put on for her 112th birthday. This art festival, called “The Colors of Frida”, included works from 32 artists from the United States, France, Australia, Mexico, Spain, Turkey, and more. The festival was designed to evoke Frida’s aesthetic with fantastical landscaping and giant skeleton sculptures, but the main feature was a giant sculpture of Frida laying in her bed. Thousands of Frida fans even dressed up as her portraits with flower crowns and elaborate makeup!

 

A giant Frida in bed! https://hiplatina.com/frida-kahlo-mexico-city-celebration/

 

There is also an annual street fair, dubbed “Frida Festival”, in Houston, Texas. It’s not only a celebration of Frida herself, but of Chicano heritage and culture. The festival features tons of food, art, and music and lasts for 5 days!

 

Frida fans dressed up, https://www.fridafestival.com/past-frida-festivals/13th-annual-frida-festival-2018/ 

 

Channeling Frida With Our Handmade Alebrije Bracelets

Our Frida Wooden Beaded Bracelets perfectly encapsulate Frida’s spirit. Made 100% by hand in the town of San Martin Tilcajete, Mexico, each bead is carved, shaped, finished, and then painted by hand based off of a technique called Alebrije. Alebrije is a Mexican folk art style that was used by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in many of their paintings. Alebrije was started in Mexico City by later artist Pedro Lineares and quickly spread and reached the southern part of Mexico in Oaxaca. We evolved the design onto painted beads and made them into wearable pieces of art! The wood used for the beads comes from a local tree called the copal and is said to contain magical properties.

 

Channel your inner Frida Kahlo with these colorful wooden bead bracelets!

 

Frida Kahlo’s self portraits are rich with emotion and symbolism— glimpses into her life. Her vibrant style has made her one of the most celebrated and recognized Latin American artists. Frida Kahlo reminds us that femininity and strength are not exclusive, and have amazing outcomes when combined.

Explore our collection of Mexican jewelry and support Mexican artisans here.

 



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