i LiKE WHO i LiKE

14 Mar

 

Somewhere in my mid-teens, I was made aware of Frida Kahlo. Her art was perfect for my fifteen year-old self. It was a time when I was searching for something more than the suburbs and dead-end friends, and Frida’s work seemed so ripe with clear ideas of pain, womanhood, outsiderness, rebellion and passion. Her art was also tied to a greater world of identity, race, politics, thought, sexuality and feminism. It was captivating for me to discover, to study and to (attempt to) recreate Frida’s art.

I think her name is kind of a cliche now, which is really sad. You can pretty much go into any museum shop and buy a Frida magnet, notebook, postcard or mouse pad. Art critics say her work is “underskilled” and “fussy” and that fans aren’t drawn to her work, but her story. I just read an article that argued her paintings and photographs were more about “performance” than great artistic composition.

She is apparently one of the most famous woman artists, with fans like Madonna and her paintings selling for upwards of 10 million dollars.

I still just love her stuff. To me, it is beautiful. She is the center of it – and it deals with issues that matter to me(and that a lot of women can relate to). She doesn’t paint flowers and landscapes and children playing with teddy bears (though she sort of incorporates all three and adds some dead things). She paints her self, with flaws, with pain, with mixed and battling identities. The message is not all I love, I like the actual composition. I like the colors, the “simplicity,” and the “brush strokes.” If you ever see her paintings in real life (I saw one, once, at the SF MoMA), it’s pretty spellbinding.

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One Response to “i LiKE WHO i LiKE”

  1. opensesamejewelry March 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm #

    youre so articulate tay. i too, have loved her work for many years, and i think you’ve perfectly and simply described the complex appeal of her work.

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