Monday, December 20, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I know I complained to anyone who'd listen (Hi Karen!) about having to write an essay AND give a PowerPoint presentation on Frida Kahlo a couple of months ago but the fact is the process was enriching (learning hey, who knew?). I've always been fascinated by Frida Kahlo's circumstances but not so enamoured with her actual work - I just didn't like her style. Researching Frida however and her paintings turned that around somewhat. Now I get it. Still, I wouldn't want to have Frida's My Birth hanging in my living area (Madonna owns the original and decides who'll make it as a friend depending on their reaction) but I do love the kitsch that has grown up around her iconic image and has it's roots in Mexican folk art - the very thing I disliked about her style in the first place. The best part though for me was discovering ex-voto and retablo which were popular in 19th century Mexico and which Frida drew inspiration from. They are small religious paintings on tin which give thanks to a saint for intervening in a tragic event or illness. Sometimes the retablo will depict the tragic event, inscribe a sentence or paragraph abut it and in the corner have the intervening saint. In ex-voto it's just a painting of the saint. Searches on google images or etsy will turn up ex-votos or retablos of Frida Kahlo herself. Like she's the saint now. The saint of suffering or rather triumph of the spirit over suffering I like to think. Which is why when I had lots of tin left over from my chandelier project it seemed obvious that I should make my own Frida ex - voto with a little polymer clay. Then it seemed obvious that with a bit of blu- tac it could be a detachable element of the chandelier - especially if I wanted to push the chandelier over the line into kitsch! As for Affluenza maybe it's just a reminder to give thanks for what we already have. Hope you are enjoying the festive season!