Mexique

Last November, my daughter and I went to see the “Mexique” exhibition at the Gran Palais. Here is the long overdue publication of my related notes:

Pont Alexandre III  is the most ornate and grandiose bridge in Paris. Named after Tsar Alexander III, the bridge commemorates the alliance established between Russia and the Third Republic in 1892. And, with its view of the Eiffel Tower, it’s an often used location for wedding picture and tourists’ selfies.  Crossing the bridge is like taking a stroll in an en plein air museum as the bridge is full of sculptures—cherubs, lions, seashells, monsters and much more. Built for the city’s World Fair in 1900, the bridge links the Hôtel des Invalides  with the Petit and the Grand Palais.

Pont Alexandre III

The Gran Palais hosts a number of exhibitions every year such as “Mexique” dedicated to Mexican art from 1900-1050. Naturally, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were the main attractors but there were, aside from Orozco and Siqueiros,  many “minor” artists of interests such as José Guadalupe Posada, Julio Ruelas, Roberto Montenegro, Ángel Zárraga and Carlos Mérida.

Some of the women included in the exhibition:

Tina Modotti photographed Frida and mujeres indigentes

Lola Alvarez Bravo photographed Frida and Mexican culture

Maria Izquierdo painted self-portraits and Sueño y presentimien

Lola Cueto made puppets and papel picado embroidery

Olga Costa painted fruit and people

Nahui Olin was a model, painter, and poet

Rosa Rolanda was a neo-figurative painter

English-Mexican Leonora Carrington was a surrealist painter

Alice Rahon was fascinated by Frida

Bibliography: The Human Tradition in Mexico  byi Jeffrey M. Pilcher

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Freshness is Not Eternal Huipil

Freshness Is Not Eternal

One morning while sitting in the kitchen searching for meaning in life, I noticed that the oranges in the fruit bowl were getting mushy. The firm plumpness they had when I bought them had disappeared. With this realization, I had an epiphany —life is ephemeral so I needed to get up and get with the program before it was too late.

This huipil was made from pieces of white cotton stitched together to be used as a canvas for a drawing made with water-resistant markers. Hand-painting, appliqué, and hand-stitching are used to further embellish the huipil. The back of the hupil is a patchwork of colorful fabrics.

The model, Chiara Pilar, is also wearing a paper bead necklace and a bracelet made from  pen caps.

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Δώρο/gift Huipil dress

In Greek, “Δώρο” means “gift” and what better gift can nature give us than that of spring? And to celebrate spring, I made this huipil dress using a tulip filled  secondhand t-shirt for the bodice. The body of the dress is made from a piece of white cotton covered with drawings of a woman holding a flower.  She is just waiting for someone she can give it to.

Δώρο huipil dress

Δώρο huipil dress

Δώρο huipil dress

Δώρο huipil dress

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Frida Kahlo & Miyako Ishiuchi

Japanese artist Miyako Ishiuchi takes photographs of clothes.  She began doing so after her mother died. Miyako’s mother had a strong personality and lived in a time that went through numerous metamorphoses. By photographing her mother’s intimate effects such as lingerie, shoes and cosmetics, Miyako examined the memory she had of her mother. Because clothes give us an identity.

Frida Kahlo's Clothes by Ishiuchi Miyako

A few years after photographing her mother’s belongings, Miyako began a new project: Yokosuka Story.  She started photographing the personal objects of those who’d lost their lives in the American bombing of Hiroshima treating the objects just like a saint’s relics. Thus the victims are seen as martyrs. Objects like combs, watches, and shoes are the only things left of a life obliterated by a bomb.

Frida Kahlo's Clothes by Ishiuchi Miyako

After Frida’s death, Diego Rivera had her wardrobe with all her personal belongings locked up. It was kept this way for 15 years after his death.  But it wasn’t until 2011 that the contents of the wardrobe were photographed. And it was Miyako Ishiuchi who was selected as photographer photographing the clothes was like photographing a person.

Frida Kahlo's Clothes by Ishiuchi Miyako

miyako-4-b

“If I met her, I wouldn’t ask any questions. I would only want to stare at her and touch her body.” Japanese photographer Ishiuchi Miyakois talking about Frida Kahlo.

Miyako Ishiuchi and Frida Kahlo

Miyako Ishiuchi and Frida Kahlo

Bibliography:
Frida by Ishiuchi. Ishiuchi, Miyako; Trujillo, Hilda; Ankori, Gannit; Henestrosa, Circe. Museo Frida Kahlo. Mexico City. 2014.

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Frida Fashionistas

Frida Kahlo Wears Huipiles

Frida was an anti-conformist who made her style loud enough to be heard. So loud, in fact, that 60 years after her death, it still echos. Frida Fashionistas have gone global and fashion designers blatantly appropriate The Frida Look.

Fashion is a form of expression. But when I dress, am I expressing me or somebody else?

More à la Frida:

Fashion Designer à la Frida

Frida a la Gaultier

Frida à la Vogue

Prada à la Frida KahloLangerfeld ò la Frida

Dolce Gabbana à la Frida

 

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Copyright © 2016 Cynthia Korzekwa. All Rights Reserved

 

Related links (fashion à la Frida): Maya Hansen 2013 + Lena Hoschek 2013 + Moschino à la Frida + Gudrun Sjoden à la Frida + Matilda Temperley à la Frida + John Galliano à la Frida + Christian Lacroix à la Frida + Valentino à la Frida + Osman Yousefzada à la Frida + Chinese fashion design student à la Frida + more à la Frida

Frida and Coatlicue

Many Mexican intellectuals including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera sustained Mexicanidad, the pro-native movement associated with the Mexican Revolution.

Frida Kahlo Wears Huipiles

Alfredo Chavero (1841-1906) was a politically active Mexican archeologist who enthusiastically promoted the re-appropriation of Mexico’s indigenous past.  Chavero wrote extensively on Middle American Indians.  He was the first scholar to make reference to Coatlicue, the Aztec goddess who wore a skirt made from serpents and a necklace made of hearts, hands, and a skull pendant. With such a surrealistic look, it’s no wonder that Frida fell in love with her and often used Coatlicue related motifs for her paintings. In her “Self-portrait With Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” (1940), Frida portrays herself wearing a necklace of thorns adorned by a dead hummingbird.  Dead hummingbirds were often used as charms to bring good luck in love.  The painting was made shortly after Frida’s divorce from Diego so, obviously, she was devastated and used her art to help her purge some sorrow.  Photographer Nickolaus Murray, friend and ex-lover, bought the painting from Frida knowing she needed the money.

Frida Kahlo Wears Huipiles

I would like to make a huipil dress dedicated to Coatlicue.  It would have a bodice made of skull printed fabric and a skirt of snakes!

Frida Kahlo Wears Huipiles

Frida Kahlo Wears Huipiles

 

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Copyright © 2016 Cynthia Korzekwa. All Rights Reserved
Bibliography:
Gaba, Xhensila. Frida Kahlo beyond the “painter of pain”:Kahlo’s artwork through the lenses of cultural and political identity. Retrieved 31/10/2016 https://www.academia.edu/3214913/Frida_Kahlo_beyond_the_painter_of_pain_Kahlo_s_artwork_through_the_lenses_of_cultural_and_political_identity
Helland, Janice. CULTURE, POLITICS, AND IDENTITY IN THE PAINTINGS OF FRIDA KAHLO. Retrieved from internet 31/10/2016 https://msu.edu/course/ha/240/fridakahlo.pdf