Monday, April 18, 2011
Frida Kahlo Rivera-mixed media original oil collage
Mexican icon, Frida Kahlo, has been represented throughout the years in many different mediums. I never really thought too much about her until a few years ago when I had the pleasure of taking a tour of Mexico. While in Mexico City, I visited the museum of Diego Rivera. It was there that I became attracted to the busy look of his fabulous paintings. Frida attended the renowned National Preparatory School where she met Diago. He was painting a mural in the lecture hall. They later married only to have an on again off again marriage. I started to study their lives and now I see what all the fury concerning Frida is about.
Diego Rivera's mural in Mexico City, Mexico
Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo was born in 1907 in Mexico City. She contracted polio as a child and walked with a limp because of the damage to her leg and foot. As luck would have it, she was forced to leave her study of medicine to begin painting after a terrible street car accident immobilized her. Being forced to remain in bed in excruciating pain for long periods at a time, she chose to explore the world of art and became quite famous.
Frieda is richly decorated in vibrant oil color and embellishments
In creating my own Frida oil painted collage, I decided to vicariously put myself in her shoes, pick up her palatte and see through her eyes as I painted. I chose to create a painting in the fashion she would have used. She said when interviewed, “I paint myself because it I know myself better than anyone else.” She created 143 paintings and of those 55 are self portraits.
I found an old frame at the flea market and painted it in bright Mexican looking colors. I glued digital images of flowers behind the area where I roughed in the face. I modge podged the flowers, crackled them and then oil painted several in and around the crackles to create depth. I then finished painting her face, neck and dress in oils.
I was given a beautiful palette for Mother’s Day last year, but after taking an oil painting class, I found that it is much more cost-effective and much easier to use the disposable palettes. I decided to use my wooden palette as a focal point in the painting. I hand wrote two of Frida's quoted sayings in Spanish. I also added two paint brushes that were my father, James Galloway’s. He was a well known landscape artist. I inherited all of his art materials when he passed away several years ago. Some of the brushes were dried out and I wanted to put them to good use.>
Beautiful painting found at resort in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Another busy but beautiful painting
I wanted the painting to look very much like one Frida would have created of herself. I was also influenced by two paintings in the hotel where I stayed in Playa Del Carmen this past winter. Yes. "Busy" is in with the old Mexican artists and mine is certainly no exception.
Finished Frida oil collage measuring 36" wide x 66" high! She's larger than she looks here.
My Frida is standing rather stoic (that is the way Frida usually painted herself,) with the bright flowers and traditional Mexican dress she most often chose to wear. The look she conveys in her paintings is of a surrealistic nature. She said. “I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”
I printed her biography in Spanish and crackled it, placed it on the dress, used gesso to splash over it and little by little…she started to come to life.
She was a long time in the making but finally I can present her for show. I hope you like her. I plan to place her in my kitchen for now. I just know I’ll love the color and life she will add.
Frida sculpture and oil collage shown together in my studio
I used lavish embellisments to adorn her hair and neck
Now..here is where the real Frida mania comes in. I didn’t stop at the painting. I also sculpted Frida, I created journals of her, placed her on my “gypsy woman" cloak hangers, made art paper dolls and various other Frieda items. I’ll be doing a post of them soon, but for now, here is a picture of the sculpture I created of her, which is for sale. I have priced her at $300. She is 23” tall and 12” wide. I can ship her anywhere and give you an estimate on shipping price. Please e-mail me if you are interested and we can go from there.
Another view of Frida sculpture
And yet another view