Several months ago, while on a walk, I rescued a book that was lying in the middle a street. It so happens that this book was Inspirations: Stories of Women Artists, which included Georgia O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Alice Neel, and Faith Ringgold. It was an introduction to the artists, and probably meant for middle school children, but I enjoyed it anyway.
One tidbit of information I picked up from it was that Frida Kahlo had an imaginary friend as a child. I’ve read quite a bit about her, and this is the first time that I had heard this. Frida has been a favorite artist of mine, and has served as inspiration from many of my art pieces. Not so much stylistically, but in what her art expressed. She wasn’t afraid to show her emotion through symbolism, even if it was drawn from painful events; like a mirror to the soul.
I had been thinking a lot about inner voice, like a persons second self, and expression of inner turmoil and emotion. This idea is reflected in my drawings such as “Solace” and is a continuing theme of many drawings I’ve been working on featuring interconnected people. I have the habit of often talking to myself, like an imaginary friend, this is how the idea came about. When I heard the Frida had an imaginary friend, this sparked an idea for tribute to the artist.
“Frida Kahlo: My Imaginary Friend” is done in my own style. I used “2 Fridas” as reference to how the figures are placed.
The Frida on the left is the rejected Frida with a broken heart in the modern dress Frida wore in the past. The Frida to the right has a whole heart and is in the traditional Mexican dress she became known for wearing; she is holding a small portrait of her husband Diego.
In my drawing I’ve replaced the “rejected Frida” with myself. I look to Frida, while she looks out. Frida holds a small Mexican art figurine instead of Diego. The pattern around her face is a pattern found in some of her paintings on her dress. In my hand is a mirror with the reflection of a healthy heart. In a whole this is a reflection of our best selves as women and artists.
“I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.”~ Frida Kahlo