Frida Kahlo is a Mexican-born artist best known for her self-portraits, native folk-art style, and use of bold, vibrant colors. Her paintings combine realism with fantasy, and she explores issues of identity, gender, class, and race within Mexican society. After being diagnosed with polio at age six, she suffered a tragic bus accident as a teenager that resulted in multiple fractures of her spine and a shattered pelvis. While she was recovering in a body cast, she began to focus on painting self-portraits from her bed. Over her lifetime, she endured 30 operations. Despite intense physical and emotional pain, Frida always found a way to communicate through art, and her image lives on as a reminder of what we can accomplish with our passions.
I visited Frida Kahlo’s Blue House in Coyoacán on my first trip to Mexico City in 1998. She had been an inspiration to me since I saw an exhibit of her work at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston when I was in high school. I was entranced by her use of color and her technique of painting beyond the canvas, onto the frame, as in the case of A Few Small Nips.
This gory painting depicts a woman who was murdered by her husband in a drunken rage, and her blood is splattered onto the frame, into the world of the spectator, who is forced to become a direct eye-witness to the event. The contents cannot be contained within a safe and tidy frame, and the viewer cannot be removed from direct emotional participation. This passion, directness, and disregard for socially accepted niceties are what I love most about Frida - she never censors herself or her worldview.
Our beaded Frida Drop Earrings pay homage to the empowered female artist. From her iconic flower crown, created using brightly colored tiny sequins and seed beads, to her distinctly untamed eyebrows, to the statement earrings adorning her lobes, these earrings were designed to resemble her iconic self-portraits. The edge of her bust is lined with brightly colored mini tassels, reminiscent of traditional Mexican garments, and they make the earrings lightweight and full of movement. The Frida Drop Earrings combine my love of art history and Mexican culture with my passion for supporting the feminist and LGBTQ movements. They remind me to always be true to myself.