Frida Kahlo is an iconic member of the Latino community. As an artist, she continues to inspire millions of people from around the world. She stood up for herself and her sexuality in a time when people just didn’t allow for people to be themselves. Kahlo is a controversial figure at times but, overall, she shows the world that we can do anything we want as long s we have the drive and determination to get there.
Her style is one thing everyone remembers about the artist. She was a fashion icon without trying. Everyone has seen Kahlo in her floral crowns and dresses. We also know her in her suits and cropped hair. Her drastic changes in her style were all intentional.
Frida Kahlo first started dictating her dress based on her deformities and injuries.
Kahlo was the victim of several health issues that altered her body. To hide these imperfections, Kahlo altered her clothing to create illusions that hid the physical manifestations of her health issues.
One clothing alteration Kahlo relied on was a heel on her right shoe.
As a young child, Kahlo contracted polio in her right leg. The disease, which has been largely eradicated in the world thanks to vaccinations, caused her right leg to be smaller than her left leg.
She also layered her socks to help hid her right leg.
Her ingenuity with her clothing and her vision on how to create the form she wanted you to see is very telling. Her art was something she clearly always felt.
Young Kahlo would also wear her suits to challenge society.
She refused to be defined by society and the mainstream vision of femininity and womanhood. She wanted to be defined as herself and wearing a suit provided the artist with a way to stand up for herself.
Diego Rivera was a major factor in how the artist portrayed herself to the world.
When Rivera and Kahlo were together, Kahlo wore flowers in her hair and traditional Mexican dresses. She offered Rivera what he thought was beautiful.
Kahlo’s life without Rivera saw her living as the opposite of his desires.
When Rivera, who was frequently cheating on Kahlo, was out of Kahlo’s life, she would wear suits and cut her hair short. She knew that Rivera disliked her looking like this so she intentionally did so to displease him when they were apart.
Kahlo’s style evolution was cyclical and ever-changing. She constantly blurred the line between femininity and masculinity always leaving society scratching their heads.
For many years now, when you think of the U.S.-Mexico border, you think of the families torn apart by cruel and inhumane immigration policies and of kids and families being thrown into cages.
One artist tried to highlight the cruelty happening at the border, while also providing local children with a happy distraction, through an art installation at the border zone between El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.
Now, that art installation is gaining international recognition for its aim to bring together a physically divided community.
Pink seesaws installed along the U.S.-Mexico border have won a prestigious design award.
The collection of bright pink seesaws placed along the border wall between a section of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez is being recognized for its importance. The art installation/children’s playground that allowed people to interact through the border wall has won the prestigious Design of the Year award, with its creators saying they hoped the work encourages people to build bridges between communities.
The Teeter Totter Wall, which bridged across El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua during a 40-minute session, was described as not only feeling “symbolically important” but also highlighting “the possibility of things” by the judging panel.
Original story published July, 25, 2019:
Lately, when you think of the U.S-Mexico border, you think of the children being kept in cages, of migrant folks being kept in unthinkable conditions in detention prisons, and you think of the possible construction of Donald Trump’s beloved wall–among other negative connotations that the border brings. Then there are times when heartwarming images and scenes from the border show that despite the weaponization of the border, we’re still connected to one another in many ways.
Architect and artist Ronald Rael designed and installed pink seesaws at the border for children from the United States and Mexico to play together.
The art installation, “Teeter-Totter Wall,” was created by Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San Jose State University.
The custom-built seesaws were placed on both sides of the steel border fence that separates the U.S. and Mexico. The artist called it “one of the most incredible experiences of his career” in a post he shared on Instagram.
Despite the negative headlines that dominate the news cycle every day, it’s refreshing to see artists like Ronald Rael use their platform and creativity to spark positivity and strengthen our sense of community.
“The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S.-Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side,” Rael wrote in his Instagram caption. Rael also gave a shoutout to the team who helped make this powerful art installation a reality in Cuidad Juárez, Mexico.
CNN also points out that the New Mexico town is also where a militia detained migrants in April (the ACLU called it a kidnapping), and where a private group began building its own border wall with the use of millions donated to a GoFundMe campaign.
Last week, the Supreme Court also gave Trump a victory in his fight for the construction of a wall along the border. Further, the Supreme Court allowed the administration to use $2.5 billion in military funds for it.
Despite all of the negative news surrounding the border, it was a different scene there on Monday near the Sunland Park stretch. Instead, it showed a heartwarming and lighter scene compared to what we’ve recently seen.
The art installation that this artist created is also meant to serve as a reminder. A reminder that “we are connected” and “what happens on one side impacts the other.”
The pink seesaws showed people from both sides of the border coming together in a unifying act. Children and adults alike on U.S soil were recorded playing with children from the other side. These light-hearted scenes from the border make one for if only a second forget the actual reality of it all.
RAICES, a non-profit focusing on immigration legal services in Texas, shared on Twitter that “Art is such a powerful vehicle for change”
Claudia Tristán, the Director of Latinx Messaging for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke also praised the art installation for the message it spread.
“The symbolism of the seesaw is just magical,” she wrote in a tweet. “A #Border fence will not keep us from our neighbors.”
The video of architect and artist Ronald Rael that’s also making rounds on social media shows him saying that the seesaw that there are still “good relations the people of Mexico and the United States.” Therefore, the seesaw can portray that we are “equal” and the wall, he says, cuts those relationships between us.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that with or without the U.S.-Mexico border, much of this land belonged to and will always belong to Native Americans.
There are few people in this world that are as iconic as Frida Kahlo. She’s captured the minds and imaginations of generations of people from all over the world. We’ve seen her story told before, including on the big screen, but fans have long awaited a Netflix rendition of the artists unique story and now it seem like we may finally be getting what so many of us have wanted for so long.
The Frida Kahlo Corporation is developing a TV drama series based on the artist’s storied life.
Acording to a report by Deadline, the Frida Kahlo Corporation is working with a media company and famed Venezuelan composer and singer Carlos Baute to produce a drama series following the life of the iconic artist.
Frida Kahlo has inspired and influenced fans around the world and has had a major impact on the Latinx diaspora, the art world, feminism and culture as a whole. So, it seems that producers are pulling out all the stops to make sure they do right by the artist.
The series is being written by Latino talent, lead by Joel Novoa and Marilú Godinez. Novoa, who has worked on Arrow, Blood and Treasure and the feature film God’s Slave is attached to direct. The partnership will create a slate of content to celebrate the life of Frida Kahlo in different genres.
“The idea is to talk about what the books don’t,” said the writing duo in a joint statement. “The subtext behind each painting, the richness of Mexico’s 20th century and the revolution. Themes that are incredibly relevant at this unprecedented time.”
Carlos Dorado of the Frida Kahlo Corporation added, “Frida Kahlo corporation is always looking for talented people who know how to exalt the life of an icon like Frida Kahlo. In this case the professional team that has been formed is distinguished by its great professionalism, experience and most importantly the sensitivity to be able to approach a project as important and transcendental as Frida Kahlo. This high professional team will always have the support of Frida Kahlo Corporation.”
So when can we expect to see a series about one of the world’s greatest artists and feminist icons?
The team expects to start production of the series during the second half of 2021. A studio has already shown interest and the presentation of the project to the market is expected to occur in February.
“We are currently developing and writing the basis of the series and expect to be ready to present the project in the upcoming weeks,” the team said in a statement.
Also, why has it taken so long?!
Should the series find a studio and distributor, this would be the first drama series focusing on Kahlo in recent history. It’s been almost twenty years since her story was told on the big screen, when Salma Hayek portrayed the icon in the 2002 film Frida. That film went on to earn six Oscar nominations, winning for Best Makeup and Best Original Score. More recently, Kahlo was voiced by Natalia Cordova-Buckley in the Oscar-winning Pixar pic Coco.
In addition to this, in 2019 it was announced that there would be an animated film about the painter.
But fans of the iconic feminist and artist have long hoped to see a TV series depicting her larger than life personality and role in shaping the world we live in today and it looks like we may finally get what we’ve asked for.