Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Frida Frenzy

Since I've been profiling various Yucateco designers this month, I thought it would be most appropriate to feature one of the most influential Mexican woman of all time. She popularized the full brow trend, an abstract way of thinking and strength that would never be imagined possible for her petite frame. Yes, I am talking about the fabulous Frida Kahlo.

Frida both confuses and amazes me. Her story is one of despair, pain and heartache, and she was clearly way ahead of her time. Her mind frame and way of thinking were so unique, so refreshing, when you hear her coined terms and phrases you don't automatically question it. She turns your questions of why into, well, why not?

"Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"
"I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best."
“I drank to drown my sorrows, but the damned things learned how to swim.” 
“I don't paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.” 
“I paint flowers so they will not die.”

Obviously I have a thing for Frida. I didn't always feel that way, to be honest I barely knew anything about her until recently. My best friend is a huge fan and admirer of hers, and since I am certain that her judgment is of the highest caliber, I myself wanted to see what all the fuss was about. All I knew was that when I saw a painting of a woman with a grimace and unibrow, it was probably her. I've been meaning to catch the flick detailing her story for quite some time now, but haven't seemed to find the time.

Cue to present day Ottawa. Today in our nation's capital, with wind chill, it is supposed to feel like -42.  As a girl who just got back from Mexico, with sinus problems and a bum foot, there was no way I was braving that today. Yesterday was (only) -23 and I thought my face and feet were going to fall off.  Today me and my clogged up sinuses stayed in. While doing some oh so interesting readings for school, I was flipping through channels and settled on an episode of Style Star for background noise. Today's style star was the voluptuous vixen Salma Hayek. After watching her style story, I was inspired to finally take the time to watch Frida. After googling "watch Frida online free" and having the very first link work (that NEVER happens), I took that as a sign that yes, today would be the day!

The movie Frida is one of despair and depression, heartache and hope, and innovation. It leans towards the artsy fartsy side (its a movie about two artists, what do you expect?) and is a tad dark. But in all honesty, that is life isn't it? Real life isn't the romantic comedies that feature Ashton Kutcher, nor the Batman or X-men action dramas. Real life is hard, and its difficult and yea, sometimes its a little dark. Frida was bedridden (due to various severe injuries from an accident at a young age) for a good chunk of her life, but this never deterred her from pursuing her dreams and painting.

Frida clearly has a set style. She goes through a phase of downplaying her femininity and at times, even went as far as to dress in men's clothing, which, in her era (and location), I'm sure was QUITE scandalous. She eventually reverts back to her full, floor length skirts (which I found out was actually a ploy to hide her legs, as one was thinner than the other due to polio) and perfectly braided coifs. Even as she travels to Paris, she still dresses as if she were on a Mexican ranch and I love it. I honestly can't think of many other icons that stay so true to their styles.

Anyway, enough of my raving. You should check out the movie, as it probably details the story a heck of a lot better than I ever could, and in the meantime I leave you with some of my favorite shots/paintings/photos of the legend known as Frida.

What is your opinion of Frida Kahlo?

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