Culture

There’s A Frida Kahlo Exhibit That Features Rare Family Photos And It Made Me So Emotional

Frida Kahlo died 63 years ago, yet her presence is alive more than ever.

Frida Kahlo in the Blue House, Anonymous, 1930 ©Frida Kahlo Museum
CREDIT: Frida Kahlo in the Blue House, Anonymous, 1930 ©Frida Kahlo Museum

Since her death, there have been countless exhibits, documentaries, biographies and feature films all in her name. However, her persona is still so inexplicable, which is why we continue to seek her out. It is her persistent and mysterious entity that brought me to Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, Calif., to experience “Frida Kahlo ‐ Her Photos.” This exhibition is unlike any that I’ve ever seen. It does not feature her artwork but rather 240 original photographs that belong to Frida and her family.

The “Frida Kahlo – Her Photos” exhibit in Santa Ana, Calif., is unlike any that I’ve ever seen. It features 240 original photographs that belong to Frida and her family.

“Throughout her life, Frida meticulously collected thousands of photographs of loved ones as well as scenes of Mexican culture, politics, art, history, and nature,” Bowers Museum states. “After her death, the collection was locked away by a grieving Diego Rivera in Frida’s Mexico City family home, Casa Azul.”

This exhibit is incredibly rare because the images have been locked up for 50 years.

But why did I start crying as soon I entered the museum – before even seeing a single photograph?

#bowersmuseum #fridakahlo #streetphotography #fineartphotography #lofi

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Bowers’ beautiful Spanish architecture is breathtaking, but Frida’s presence on the grounds is palpable.

Frida’s image can be seen on posters and billboards throughout the streets of Santa Ana and Anaheim. It really gave the city a whole new cultural take. Given Frida’s Mexican roots and the large Latino population in the area, the visual of her face really put historical context to her influence.

Once inside the museum, and upon entering the exhibit, it’s as if Frida’s spirit guided me inside her sacred world.

If you click on #BowersMuseum on Instagram, you will see the many people that visited just to see this Frida show.

The show begins with a rare look at the history of her family.

"Frida Kahlo - Her Photos"
CREDIT: “Frida Kahlo – Her Photos”

Guests can see several images of her father, Guillermo Kahlo, and her mother Matilde Calderón y González, and her extended family. I had no idea how affluent her family was. Even more incredible was the fact that Frida’s mother was as eccentric as she was.

We also see beautiful images of Frida as a little girl.

Frida at the age of 5, Anonymous, 1912 ©Frida Kahlo Museum
CREDIT: Frida at the age of 5, Anonymous, 1912 ©Frida Kahlo Museum

This part really got me choked up. Here we have young Frida, a future revolutionary in the making and a child that would grow up to inspire so many. The show is divided into six sections and follows her life in a chronological order.

Aside from famous images we’ve seen of Frida, the show has some really amazing shots of the artist that most haven’t seen before.

Frida Kahlo, by Guillermo Kahlo, 1926 ©Frida Kahlo Museum
CREDIT: Frida Kahlo, by Guillermo Kahlo, 1926 ©Frida Kahlo Museum

It’s quite stunning to witness Frida developing as a young girl into adulthood through these images. You can literally see how Mexico and her family influenced her style and early work.

One of the most touching moments in the show is this picture of Diego with Frida’s kiss marks.

Diego Rivera (in his study at San Ángel), Anonymous, ca. 1940 ©Frida Kahlo Museum
CREDIT: Diego Rivera (in his study at San Ángel), Anonymous, ca. 1940 ©Frida Kahlo Museum

While most fans know a lot about the relationship between Diego and Frida, here we can see her true devotion of the man that influenced her tremendously.

On the wall above some these photographs of Diego reads a quote by Frida:

“I have suffered two serious accidents in my life, one in which a streetcar ran over me….the other accident is Diego.”

Of this love, a historian, who was featured in a short film in the exhibition said, that her love for Diego was more than intense and desperate. It was a fixation because he introduced her to art, culture, notoriety, desire, and, of course, love.

The images of Frida after her accident are especially heartfelt because fans can fully grasp her excruciating pain and unwavering spirit.

Frida in the New York hospital, by Nickolas Muray, 1946 ©Frida Kahlo Museum
CREDIT: Frida in the New York hospital, by Nickolas Muray, 1946 ©Frida Kahlo Museum

I found the images of her incapacitated state to be moving and made me feel more appreciative of the art she created during this time.

One of the reasons I believe people, especially women, adore Frida so much is because she owned up to all of her realities and never made excuses for who she was. Here was a woman that painted her pain, her fears, her loves, and herself regardless of her insecurities or what anyone else thought.

Naturally, even after I exited the exhibit, I still couldn’t get enough of Frida’s spirt. So I went crazy at the gift shop and stocked up on Frida goods.

Araceli Cruz
CREDIT: Araceli Cruz

I highly recommend buying “Frida Kahlo: Her Photos,” because it contains images from this show and many more.

This exhibit will be on view at the Bowers Museum, 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA, through June 25, 2017.

READ: See What People On The Internet Are Fighting About Over This Latina Inspired Snapchat Filter

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This Latina On Instagram Is Using Art And Social Media To Share Her Journey of Embracing Her Vitiligo

Fierce

This Latina On Instagram Is Using Art And Social Media To Share Her Journey of Embracing Her Vitiligo

radiantbambi / Instagram

Ash Soto is a young Latina living in Florida using social media to bring acceptance and self-love to the vitiligo community. The Instagrammer has more than 166,000 followers and uses her platform to deliver art and activism one post at a time. Vitiligo is a skin condition and this Latina is reclaiming her skin one photo at a time.

Ash Soto is giving the vitiligo community some love and representation on social media.

Soto is a 24-year-old Instagrammer who is using her platform to show off her vitiligo and give the community some love and representation. The sudden social media star is catching a lot of attention after showing off her body in a way followers hadn’t seen before.

According to an interview with Self, Soto first started her Instagram page to do makeup and only showed her face. The reason was that she was uncomfortable showing people that part of herself.

Soto uses art to highlight and celebrate her vitiligo.

You might recognize Soto because of her incredible body art that is giving her vitiligo all of the self-love and acceptance. It is all part of her mission to reclaim her skin and make other people comfortable in theirs.

“I remember back when I was really young—you know when you’re in middle school, you try to fit in with the crowd,” Soto told Self. “I wasn’t fitting in. People made fun of me to the point where I would cry myself to sleep every night.”

Soto was young when she was diagnosed with vitiligo.

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Which one is your fav? 🌎🖌

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Vitiligo is a skin condition where a person loses the pigmentation of their skin. The cells in the skin that produce the pigmentation die or stop functioning leading to the loss of skin color over time. The disease shows up as splotches on the skin without pigmentation.

“I never realized how beautiful my vitiligo was until I traced it with a black marker, it really helps to bring out the different colors of my skin. I was always trying to find a way to look at my skin in a positive light, [and] I couldn’t do that before starting this,” Soto told Daily Mail. Now what others would perceive as an imperfection, I have made into something more beautiful and made it more accepted than before.”

Soto has been living with her vitiligo since she was 12 years old.

A moment in her teens made her embarrassed of her body and her skin. When she was a teenager, a little girl on the beach asked her if she took a shower in bleach. According to Daily Mail, that was when Soto wanted to lock herself away from the world.

Years later, Soto is flipping the script and embracing her vitiligo in all of its glory. You can follow Soto and her vitiligo journey on Instagram at @radiantbambi.

“If you feel beautiful, that’s what matters,” Soto told Self. “No one can say anything if you feel happy with yourself.”

READ: At Just 6 Years Old, She Told Her Parents To Put An End To The Birthmark Removal Treatments She Was Going Through

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You Can Visit Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul Right Now With This Incredible 360º Tour

Culture

You Can Visit Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul Right Now With This Incredible 360º Tour

omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Thanks to Coronavirus, you’re likely not hopping on a plane any time soon to go and visit one of the world’s top destinations – Mexico City. Most of us are still following stay-at-home orders and the rest of the world is pretty much off limits to us all right now. But thankfully, we do have access to the World Wide Web, right?

Sure, we could pass the time binge watching our favorite TV shows, but why not take a little time to go on a little museum tour of one of the most famous Mexicans of all time?

Thanks to some super cool tech – and the magic of Google – Frida Kahlo’s famed Casa Azul Museum is at your finger tips. You can pay a visit from your living room, bedroom, patio – where ever you wanna be.

Frida’s Casa Azul is one of the most popular attractions in Mexico.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Before the pandemic, la Ciudad de México had become one of the world’s top destinations. With it’s rich mix of foods and cultures and tons of attractions and museums (the city reportedly has the highest count of museums in the world!), it was at the top of tourist’s lists.

And at the top of the recommended sights to take in – the famous Casa Azul. Located a bit south of the central city in the beautiful colonia of Coyoacán, is the house where Frida Kahlo was born and spent much of her life.

People would often wait in line for several hours to pay a visit to this venerated museum and garden complex. In fact, it was rated by Salma Hayek as one of her favorite things to do in the city, in an interview with Vanity Fair. But now, Google is bringing the museum to you and it’s incredible. You can follow along with the following tour using this link.

With this virtual tour, you get the chance to pop into the artist’s famed studio.

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Inside Frida’s studio, you can truly visualize her experience as an artist. The space is filled with giant windows letting in all sorts of natural light. There’s also a large collection of books and prints that likely provided her with inspiration for her pieces.

Visitors also get a glimpse of her workstation, filled with paints, brushes, canvases and other supplies.

You can visit her kitchen…

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Easily one of my favorite parts of the house, is the cocina – which is beautifully decorated in traditional Mexican style. It’s home to a large collection of pottery and woodworking which lends it a very cozy feeling.

Take a look at the thousands of art pieces that are located inside the museum.

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Several rooms of the house and its hallways, are now dedicated to displaying thousands of Frida Kahlo’s works. In fact, Casa Azul is home to the largest collection of Kahlo pieces in the world – which makes sense since this was her actual home.

From photographs and writings, to famed paintings and sketches, a Frida Kahlo fan could easily spend hours walking through these galleries.

Along with many of her iconic fashion looks.

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Perhaps one of the most popular exhibits at the museum, is the dress vault. This gallery is home to some of the artist’s most famous looks. And let’s face it: Frida Kahlo is a fashion icon in so many ways.

The museum often rotates the clothing that is on display so visitors are often treated to new looks.

And the museum is well-known for its gardens, which you also get the chance to visit.

Credit: Google Arts & Culture

Casa Azul is also well-known for it’s beautiful gardens. Often home to roaming peacocks, it’s a tranquil setting in the midst of the bustling city and likely one of the top draws for visitors.

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