Today we celebrate 108 years since the birth of Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter and one of the most influental women of her generation. Seven years ago I drew this portray of Frida after a small photo from a book my drawing teacher showed me to get inspired from. As soon as I saw that small photo of Frida I remembered the movie I saw in 2004 and I tried to make a representation of her from my own perspective. Apart from her paintings, what I really loved about her is her strong determination on being a woman painter in a world governed by men, and her power to endure all things her man did to her, even cheating on her with her sister. All the misfortunes did not stop her from doing great art work which we celebrate for years and years.
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.” (The Diary of Frida Kahlo)
It is said that Frida Kahlo was one of the most orignal painters of her time. I was really impressed by her biographical story highlighted so elegantly in the lovely movie Frida. It won 2 Oscars for Best Music, Original Score and Best Makeup. Awards do not influence by anyhow my artistic preferences, but I am glad when the hard work of visionary people is acknowledged by academicians.
To this day, I may say that I have a personal relationship with the movie Frida as I have seen its more than 10 times and even today people from worldwide can see it at anytime, at anyplace, however they wish to see it. This is the big difference between theater and film. You are lucky if you get to see theater as it happens one time at a certain place at a set time. While the movies are available for you all the time. This makes theater a really special event.
In Los Angeles there is actually a theater who bears the name of the famous painter – Frida Kahlo Theater. The shows are both in English and Spanish. The theater was founded in order to serve the Latino Community with proffesional bilingual plays, focusing on social problems and offering new artists an chance to present their work to the audience.
Salma Hayek stated in a taped interview that: “Frida was my hero when I greu up. I discovered her when I was fourteen. The Frida movie has given me so many satisfactions. At the premiere, Frida’s niece came to talk to me and I was so scared because she grabbed me by my hand and said: I don’t know how you did it, because it is not in the books, it is not in the documentaries. She told me that she expected herself to be upset by the movies because that what she had felt with the other materials about Frida. Her niece told me – Well you truly captured the spirit of who she was. Thank you because you made me see her for two hours and relive my childhood. She was very graceful and people never see her like that. They always make her like this horrible victim and in this film it is the first time I really saw my aunt. ”
“To me Frida’s first language is this amazing visual world, her imagination, her images, images that she was able to come up with. That is the language with does not have any lines. That’s what makes her international and everybody responds to her work.” Salma Hayek, producer and interpreter of Frida Kahlo in the Oscar winning movie from 2002.