“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.
An exhibition on the esteemed Mexican artists, lovers, and icons Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera is coming to North Carolina. On October 26, the North Carolina Museum of Art will open the Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. The anticipated exhibition will include paintings, drawings, photography and film that aims to capture the 20th century artists’ bodies of work as well as their friendships and conflicts with political figures and their own impassioned and tumultuous personal relationships.
“Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection will emphasize a remarkable chapter in art history that is at once Mexican and global,” museum director Valerie Hillings told the ArtfixDaily, a publication covering curated art news.
Today, their tempestuous relationship is as famous as some of the artists’ most popular works.
Kahlo and Rivera met in June 1928 at a party thrown by photographer Tina Modotti. At the time, a young, bold Kahlo asked Rivera to look at her paintings to see if he thought that she had enough talent to succeed. Rivera, impressed by her work, later spoke about that encounter, saying, “It was obvious to me that this girl was an authentic artist.” The pair soon started a relationship, though Rivera was 20 years older than Kahlo and already had two common-law wives. It was the start to a messy, atypical romance.
Marrying at a civil ceremony at the town hall of Coyoacán in 1929, despite the disapproval of Kahlo’s mother, their marriage included immense heartbreak.
Over the years, the couple experienced and fought over everything from failed abortions and miscarriages to ailing physical health, to extra-marital affairs, including same-gender relationships from the gender-bending Kahlo. In 1939, the couple even divorced, only to remarry a year later with little change in their passionate yet rocky affair. Aside from the infidelity, rage, and distress that brewed in their personal relationship, the pair was often also at odds with political leaders as well. As communists, the revolutionary nature of Rivera’s murals, as well as Kahlo’s self-portraits and party affiliations, often put them at odds with political and religious leaders.
“Diego Rivera’s personality, politics, and monumental, social realist murals made him a celebrity during his lifetime. While he once overshadowed his equally talented wife, Frida Kahlo’s fame has far outstripped her husband’s in the years since her death,” Hillings added.
The pieces presented at the exhibition come from the long-time collection of Jacques and Natasha Gelman. According to ArtfixDaily, the Gelmans became Mexican citizens in 1942 and at the time started amassing Mexican art. Their collection includes Mexican modernists, like Kahlo and Rivera, who became friends with the Gelmans, as well as their compatriots Rufino Tamayo, David Alfaro Siqueiros and more.
The exhibition was organized by the Vergel Foundation and MondoMostre in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura (INBAL). It is a joint project between the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. It includes research from the Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.
The North Carolina Museum of Art is presenting the exhibition alongside the Luces y Sombras: Images of Mexico | Photographs from the Bank of America Collection.
Together, the fall exhibitions “celebrate these artists’ culture of origin as well as the diverse sources of influence they drew upon in creating their distinctive oeuvres,” Hillings said.
While the museum is commemorating the famed Mexican couple, not everyone is excited about the pair’s legacy. The fall exhibition comes weeks after the new U.S. ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau criticized Kahlo for her support of Marxism, stirring controversy on social media. The ambassador, who was appointed by President Donald Trump and sworn in last month, took to Twitter last week after visiting the late Kahlo’s home, La Casa Azul, in Mexico City.
“I admire her free and bohemian spirit, and she rightly became an icon of Mexico around the whole world. What I do not understand is her obvious passion for Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism. Didn’t she know about the horrors committed in the name of that ideology?” he wrote in Spanish.
His comments immediately drew backlash from thousands of people.
Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection runs at the North Carolina Museum of Art through January 19, 2020. To recognize the native language and cultural heritage of the artists in the exhibition, gallery information will be provided in both English and Spanish.
Tickets are already available for members but will be sold to nonmembers starting on September 17.
Dominican and Puerto Rican Latin trap and reggaeton singer Ozuna, born Juan Carlos Ozuna Rosado, has broken four Guinness World Records. Ozuna has been a disruptive force in music as he steadily climbed the ranks from up-and-comer to streaming powerhouse. His success comes as Latin artists like Maluma, J Balvin, and Bad Bunny continue their chart domination in the years leading up to the decade’s end.
While first known for his features, in 2017, the artist released the single “La Modelo” featuring Cardi B. The track debuted at number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100 marking Ozuna’s first time charting as a lead act. By 2018, his second studio album debuted at number 7 on the US Billboard 200. In 2018, he was the most-viewed artist in the world on YouTube.
Ozuna Breaks Four Guinness World Records
Ozuna is set to be featured in Guinness World Records 2020 based on the success of his last two albums. The first is for “Most weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart (male).” The album Odisea spent 46 non-consecutive weeks at number 1 during the duration period of September 16, 2017 to September 1, 2018. Next, it’s honoring Ozuna’s 11 Billboard Latin Music Awards in 2019 with “Most Billboard Latin Music Award wins for a single artist in a single year.”
And bye bye, Justin Bieber!
If you need more proof the Billboard Latin Music Awards loves Ozuna well check out his third honor; “Most Billboard Latin Music Award nominations for a single artist in a single year,” with 23 nominations. Lastly, Ozuna has achieved a huge milestone with “Artist with the most videos to reach one billion views on YouTube,” for the songs “Criminal,” “Te Bote,” “El Farsante,” “Ahora Dice,” “Escápate Conmigo,” “Se Preparó” and “Taki Taki.”
The milestone is massive because Ozuna had to dethrone, none other than, Justin Bieber to do so.
“Mira Mami estoy en los “Récord Guinness,” Ozuna captioned a photo of himself holding all four framed records with some help. This is definitely one of those “look mom” moments.
“I feel honored to receive these [Guinness World Records] titles, which validates how hard we’ve been working for the past years. I dedicate this, first of all, to God, and to my fans from around the world, who have been there supporting me since the beginning of my career. I am thankful to Guinness World Records for this important recognition,” Ozuna told Guinness.
More Latinos are breaking Guinness World Records than ever before.
“Congratulations to Puerto Rican singer and songwriter, Jan Carlos Ozuna, commonly known as @Ozuna, has been awarded four Guinness World Records titles for his music achievements. Featured in Guinness World Records 2020, he has obtained the following records based on the triumph of his latest two albums,” Guinness wrote on Instagram.
The glow up appears to be continuing as Latinxs gain more traction and visibility in the mainstream.
“More and more Latinos, especially Puerto Ricans are headlining the lists of world records,” said Ralph Hannah, Official Adjudicator of Guinness World Records in a press statement. “The passion and enthusiasm that characterizes these stars have seen them reach the top of our rankings.”
Ozuna’s journey to the top.
Born to a Dominican father and Puerto Rican mother in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ozuna began composing music at age 12. The 2015 track “La ocasión” featuring Anuel AA and Archangel catapulted him into the Latin trap ranks when it reached number 22 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart. In 2017, he signed a recording deal with Sony Music Latin.
Like many Latinx artists, Ozuna’s popularity success can be attributed to global popularity particularly in Latin America. Moreover, unlike other contemporaries, Ozuna is known for creating songs with sexually explicit lyrics that don’t objectify or demean women — making his music all the more accessible.
In 2019, Ozuna was named Latin composer of the year at the Billboard Music Awards and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. The artist’s next album Nibiru is poised for release this month and will inevitably span more record-breaking moments.
Elevating Latinx Artists
Ozuna hopes to pave the way for others all the while exporting Latinx culture to the world. It’s time the United States get a little more bilingual, and we agree.
“I want Latino culture to truly break into the United States, because it really hasn’t yet,” Ozuna told ET. “There isn’t enough mainstream art that centers on Latino identity. All the time it’s ‘English, English, English.’ If I have the opportunity of having so many followers, and helping to take Latino artists and culture to the mainstream, I’m not going to selfishly throw it away because I learned English and can ‘cross over.”
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