“You see all races here. You even see men getting into the spirit.”
On July 7th, over a thousand people gathered, dressed as Frida Kahlo, and attempted to break a world record for most impersonators gathered at one time. To celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Mexican painter’s birth, the Dallas Museum of Art hosted all of the costumed Kahlos. They all agreed to wear similar attire, consisting of floral print dresses, shawls, flowers in their hair and the world-famous unibrow. They beat out the records for most Elvis and Harry Potter impersonators, which were 895 and 676, respectively.
Over 1100 people gathered and dressed up as Mexican painter Frida Khalo to celebrate what would have been her 110th birthday.
The decision to receive a tattoo can be deeply personal, particularly because the art of ink is a decision with lifelong effects. Tattoos on our skin are so woven into the skin that they ultimately end up making up such a major part of a person’s identity. That’s why when picking out a tattoo, people usually go to great lengths to find the perfect artist. Not just someone who has talent, but someone who can be precise and understanding of the depiction they are attempting to create. For so many Latinas who decide to get a tattoo, this is especially true. Often times, our tattoos tell stories of our Latinidad, our family and our written in our native languages. As such, seeking out a fellow Latina who can do the work on us can be just as equally as important as finding the perfect design.
As the tattoo industry grows, the once-male dominated world of tattooing is seeing more women tattoo artists than ever. So, of course, we have to shout out our Latina hermanas who are repping the Latinidad in the world of ink. Here are some of the most talented Latina tattoo artists in the game.
From São Paulo, Brazil, Jessica Coqueiro produces beautiful works of art in shades of black. Specializing in gorgeous and elegant floral designs, Coquerio also expertly inks animal imagery. She also has a few surreal pieces that will blow your mind. Her soft line work and attention to detail are impressive qualities that all of her pieces share.
Tattooing from Brazil’s Arte Misia Ink, Julia Bicudo tattoos both in color and shades of black. Her portfolio is very eclectic too. You’ll find America traditional pieces alongside geometrical designs as well as traditional floral and animal motifs. From these designs, it’s easy to see how versatile and talented Bicudo is.
Floral work like this has to be done in bright vivid color and Latina tattooist Amanda Rodriguez knows how to deliver. Working out of Brooklyn as well as across the pond in London, Rodriguez comes from a fine arts background. She brings that level of detail into her traditional and realism tattoos but isn’t afraid to spice it up with thick line work and abstract elements.
Orange County tattoo artist and painter, Noemi Barajas uses striking pops of color to bring her pieces to life. She also works as a traditional artist and her painting techniques are obvious in her compositions. Her black and white pieces are also stunning works of art in their own respect.
The use of solid black in a tattoo makes the whole piece pop and artist Esther Garcia isn’t afraid to prove it. Her use of elegant, full-color florals against black backgrounds is simply breathtaking. The Chicago artist is in her element when she is drawing and inking nature but her pieces are far from traditional. Sometimes Garcia likes to get surreal and she creates amazing tats like this one.
Hailing from L.A. by way of Mexico City, Roxi Satni excels at laying down smooth black and white ink. Using points of black to apply shading, she gives her art shape and dimension in a very tangible way. Inspired by flowers and nature, Satni has developed her own style reminiscent of old school American traditional.
Located in São Paulo, Brazil, Olga Marques uses fine lines to give her artwork a sketchy feel. Specializing in figure drawing and stylized portraits, her work is very dynamic. She also happens to have the power of anime on her side. Check out her tats of anime heroes like Goku and Naruto to see the full scope of her talent.
Tattooing for 23 years, Rocio works in Oakland and has been creating in the Bay area since 1996. She practices in many styles; doing everything from portrait art to cover-ups. Nature and botanicals are mainstays in her artwork and she delivers them with precision and skill.
Specializing in Chicano-style tattooing, Tamara Santibañez operates out of New York City. Traditional Chicano imagery appears in her work as does the looping, clean cursive that is associated with that style. She is also an artist with a residency at MAD — The Museum of Arts and Design . Santibañez has even show her own public installation to rave reviews.
Don’t let the minimalist designs fool you. It takes a lot of talent to be this precise. Working out of Bang Bang Tattoo in New York City, Michelle Santana specializes in clean lines and small designs that make a big impression. She has even been featured in Forbes Magazine for her talent as an enterprising tattoo artist.
California tattoo artist Arlene Salinas likes to do America tradition art while drawing from Latinx imagery. Working in both color and black and white, she finds inspiration for her own art in the work of her friends and peers in the tattoo community. Clean lines and a soft touch is what you’ll see in her portfolio.
Is that a photograph or a tattoo? Christina Ramos’s photo-realistic tattoos are masterpieces. She also creates amazing paintings using the same hyper-realistic style. Based in California, the tattooist works predominantly is smooth gray-scale and rich blacks to create her pieces.
São Paulo-based artist Vivian Turini builds masterpieces from points of ink. The pointillism she uses could put any neo-impressionist painter to shame. Her use of negative space makes as much of an impact as her ink does. Turini’s subject matter varies but her floral pieces are especially impressive.
Born in Uruguay and working in Quebec, Magdalena Lobo tattoos in the American traditional style; focusing in bold lines, pops of color, and simpler designs. She is also heavily influenced by her Latinx culture as well as yoga and spirituality. Of all her pieces, her figure drawings are exceptionally charming.
Located in Chicago, Nazareth Garcia is a tattoo artist with a BFA in Fine Arts at the American Academy of Art. Drawing inspiration from her roots, you’ll find Indigenous and Aztec imagery in her work. She creates in black with occasional uses of color and is an amazing painter.
Operating out of Oregon and Washington, Rebecca Rodela is a Chicana tattoo artist. Classically trained, she is talented with a pen or brush but her real love is tattooing. She works in both color and black and white and covers all kinds of themes in her pieces. Rodela’s use of color is delicate and her line work varies from bold to incredibly thin depending on the tattoo.
Freelance tattoo artist Makita Boom tattoos out of Los Angeles, California. She has applied her neo-traditional style to all sorts of designs ranging from pop culture to stylized botanicals. Her portfolio is full of boldly colored, minimalist designs that you will fall in love with.
Los Angeles tattoo artist Galie Casillas focuses on using smooth grays and bold blacks to create her Chicano-style tattoos. Skeletons, angles, religious icons and Aztec imagery star in many of her pieces. Casillas specializes in photo-realistic portraits that are brought to life with her precise shading, detail work, and figure drawing.
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.