el es frida kahlo in RENACIMIENTO

January 21, 2011 § Leave a comment


RENACIMIENTO is curated by Rachel Matos.

When addressing the topic of duality and rebirth one must think of the two connected through the process of transformation. The initial duality perhaps emerging out of conflicts in accordance to the individuals own internal precepts and colored by the knowledge of their external experiences leads to this transformation, which bares a reawakening or rebirth.

The artists in Renacimiento share their personal journey through stories of cultural identity, conflictual relationships and the transcendence from their ancestry. In lieu of the new year, it is an introspective view of how we all change and seek to change – Rachel Matos


el es frida kahlo is from the series Obsessed with Frida Kahlo

As a Latina artist I will forever be tied to Frida Kahlo in some way. Frida Kahlo is the reference between who Latina artists want to be, and who everyone else expects us to be. Whether I am mimicking her style, her persona, or trying to escape the embedded attachment between myself and the late painters’ legacy, I will still be connected to Frida Kahlo.

Frida Kahlo constructed her identity though her public persona. Kahlo’s attitude, personal traumas, sexual escapades, clothing, and political affiliations, all informed her body of work.  Now regarded as the number one female artist in Mexico, Kahlo’s image has become so embedded in popular culture that when one looks at one of her self portraits one automatically thinks about her tragic bus accident, her tumultuous relationship with Diego, and her bisexuality. Kahlo inscribed her identity, painting her image over and over, constructing a mythology around her persona.

In el es frida kahlo, I stand before a reproduction of one of her paintings. With a mixture of rage, anxiety, and complete fear, I chant “el es Frida Kahlo, ella es Frida Kahlo, el es Frida Kahlo, yo soy, yo soy, yo soy Frida Kahlo,” he is Frida Kahlo, she is Frida Kahlo, I am, I am, I am Frida Kahlo.  As I yell, the painting behind behind me begins to fall. I violently tear down my braids and smudge off my makeup while continuing yelling “I am Frida Kahlo, I am Frida Kahlo, yo soy Frida Kahlo!”

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