Acrylic on Panel
Fitted with a distressed oak frame
Available through Flagstaff Gallery, Auckland.
‘I paint the flowers so they will not die’
The ‘Frida' collection is inspired by the delicate and complex identity of Frida Kahlo. Frida and native Mexican culture have long been intertwined. Frida was well known for combining both sides of her heritage; wearing colonial silver earrings with huipiles (rectangular blouses woven on backstrap looms) and rebozos (similar to a shawl). She mixed many styles and clothes from different regions with a clean eye, becoming a style icon. In her time it was relatively uncommon to wear traditional dress, with most women choosing a more modern approach. Frida rarely wore anything else. In time this helped revive the pride of Mexico and a love of traditional clothes. She has long since been celebrated as well as criticised for this.
Kahlo’s heritage is Spanish and German as well as Mexican. By some, her mixing of these heritages as well as native Mexican clothing from different regions has been considered appropriation.
Her brutally honest self portraits describe all the love, longing and horror of the female experience. They share the differing ways we can defy the storylines laid out for us by culture, and explore her own struggles of finding her identity through multiple cultures and the margins she felt relegated to.
In a world that is fast globalising, I see Frida’s identity more clearly, and her way of honouring and celebrating all cultures, all pieces that make a human complete. To me, the separation of cultures and societies is a part of what makes people feel alone and invisible. A celebration of our togetherness is necessary in a globalised world. The ‘Frida’ collection honours the value of wisdom and the fragility of age in a time when success and youth are so valued.
Flowers have long been a celebration of fertility, fleeting beauty, a connection to the natural world and the fragility of life. They are honoured in most cultures around the world and often worn in celebration. The ‘Frida’ collection is a celebration of all margins of culture and society and the importance of togetherness.
“I paint the flowers so they will not die”.
Rosa is the vibrant and vivacious spirit of Mexico. A fiercely proud woman, her face is lined with the knowledge and love of a life hard- fought. She is a blend of the beautiful and hardworking Tehuana women seen haggling over the price of tomatoes in the Coyoacán markets. A melting pot of cultures in a fast globalising world.
A peonie crown sits on Rosa’s head, a symbol of fleeting beauty, connection to nature and the fragility of life.