Painter Frida Kahlo and saxophonist Melissa Aldana

This 2017 video is called Frida Kahlo: A collection of 100 paintings (HD).

By Chris Searle in Britain:

Monday, June 24, 2019

Interview: Connecting with Kahlo

Jazz saxophonist MELISSA ALDANA talks to Chris Searle about the influence of the Mexican artist on her new album

BORN in the Chilean capital Santiago in 1988, Melissa Aldana has saxophone music in her blood.

Both her father and grandfather were eminent Chilean saxophonists and Aldana grew up listening to the records of Sonny Rollins,
Charlie Parker and Cannonball Adderley. She took up the horn aged six and by her early teens was already a working musician as a tenor saxophonist.

By 2009, having moved to the US and graduated from top jazz academy Berklee, she won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Award at the age of just 24.

“I just knew at some point I was ready to leave Chile and come to New York,” she tells me. “If I wanted to be the best as a musician and keep learning, New York is the city that pushes you to do that.

“It’s a hard place to live but it keeps you moving and growing. I have the freedom to be myself and do what I love and, thankfully, I get recognition for that — which doesn’t happen to everyone.”

Her quintet now plays around the world but her new album Visions takes her back to her young days in Chile when she was deeply affected by the communist Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

“Frida to me was an artist who embraced who she was through her art. She talks about beauty, ugliness, being a female, religion, politics, love affairs and sexuality but mostly accepting herself as an individual. This is a big part of how she engendered me to write this music,” she explains.

Her record, she says, reflects Kahlo’s struggles: “The album became a path for my own identity and expression, experimenting both harmonically and rhythmically with moments of frantic movement interspersed with order and structure.

“This is how I conjure the messiness, struggles and heartbreaking contradictions present in those visions of identity and self-worth.”
Her horn sounds create new elements, based on Kahlo’s own visions, which respond to the challenging questions which bubbled up while she was immersed in her paintings. “I felt connected to her personal struggles on an intuitive level — opposing forces in Kahlo’s life that have had a direct impact on my own music, my own self-identity.”

As soon as her album begins, with Sam Harris’s rolling piano, Pablo Menares’s bass, Tommy Crane’s sprinkling drums and Joel Ross’s vibes, you can sense that deep connection with Kahlo in a charged empathy with the Americas.

The track La Madrina is Aldana’s sonic reincarnation of Kahlo’s choice of “either living with inescapable pain due to childhood polio and a horrific bus accident, gangrene and miscarriages or dying and finding peace,” she says.

“To capture the complexity of our life choices, I’ve written layers of tension and resolution into the music. There are tightly arranged sections but also extended improvisation.”

It’s a unique musical excursion into the mind of a sister artist, with Aldana’s beautifully fluid sound sometimes floating, elsewhere delving into the Mexican artist’s consciousness with a keening insight and intimacy.

And it’s an album which shows that Aldana, despite her global achievements, has never artistically left Latin America.

“I usually go back to Chile every year,” she says. “People there are very supportive and proud of me. I have always felt that since day one.”

Visions is released on Motema. Melissa Aldana plays Pizza Express Jazz Club in London on July 9.

This video, recorded in the USA, says about itself:

Visions for Frida Kahlo (2018) Melissa Aldana
orch. Alan Baylock

I. Frida
II. Diego
III. Godmother

Melissa Aldana, saxophone
UNT One O’Clock Lab Band
Recorded live November 20, 2018 Winspear Hall, College of Music University of North Texas

Soloists: Drew Kilpela, Melissa Aldana, Michael Clement Sam Cousineau, Ethan Ditthardt, Michael Clement Gregory Newman, Alex Souris
Guest Instrumentalists: Eugen Kim, violin & Destin Wernicke, vibraphone

Painter Frida Kahlo, first voice recording discovered?

This 13 June 2019 video says about itself:

Frida Kahlo‘s only known voice recording possibly found in Mexico

The National Sound Library of Mexico has unearthed what they believe could be the first known voice recording of Frida Kahlo, taken from a pilot episode of 1955 radio show El Bachiller, which aired after her death in 1954. The episode featured a profile of Kahlo‘s artist husband Diego Rivera. In it, she reads from her essay Portrait of Diego.

Frida Kahlo art exhibition in London

This video from London, England says about itself:

13 June 2018

This is a short video review of the Frida Kahlo : Making Her Self Up exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 16th June to 4th November 2018 bought to you by Visiting London

We give you a sneak preview and illustrate what the exhibition can offer visitors.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Saturday, 23 June 2018


Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up
Victoria&Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
16 June – 4 November 2018
Admission £15 (concessions available).

SOLD out to the end of this month, the V&A is presenting an exhibition exploring the life and art of Frida Kahlo (b. 1907), one of the most significant artists and women of the 20th century, and how she fashioned her identity.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up is the first exhibition outside of Mexico to display her clothes and intimate possessions, reuniting them with key self-portraits and photographs to offer a fresh perspective on her compelling life story.

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907-July 13, 1954) was born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón; she was inspired by the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution and joined the Mexican Communist Party in 1927, where she met her husband the muralist Diego Rivera. She painted many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico, employing a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society.

Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy.

Born to a German father and a mestiza mother, Kahlo spent most of her childhood and adult life at her family home in Coyoacán, La Casa Azul (The Blue House), now known and publicly accessible as the Frida Kahlo Museum.

She was left disabled by polio as a child, and at the age of eighteen was seriously injured in a traffic accident which caused her pain and medical problems for the rest of her life. Kahlo empowered herself through her art and dress after suffering the devastating near-fatal bus crash which rendered her bed-bound and immobilised for protracted periods of time.

Self-portraiture became the primary focus of her art at this point and she began to paint using a mirror inset into the canopy of her four-poster bed. Kahlo and Rivera were married in 1928, and remained a couple until Kahlo’s death. The relationship was volatile due to both having extramarital affairs; and while they divorced in 1939, they remarried the following year.

The V&A exhibition opens with a section Roots which shows early black and white photos of her and her German father and Mexican mother, and an early self portrait. A section Art and Revolution shows Rivera and his murals and an early oil painting Pancho Villa and Adelita influenced by Cubism and de Chirico and featuring the Mexican revolutionary general.

Here also is a stlll life titled The Bride Who Becomes Frightened When She Sees Life Opened, 1943, featuring melons, a hedgehog and a small bird. Also here is a black and white photo of Kahlo and Rivera at the front of the 1929 May Day parade.

Following this is a short film featuring Kahlo, Rivera, Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky and his wife Natalia at Coyoacan, with Trotsky giving his address to the Mexican people in 1937 thanking the Mexican government for giving him asylum and denouncing Stalin’s trial. This is the exhibition’s only reference to Trotsky’s stay at Coyoacán where he was murdered in 1940 by Stalinist agent Ramon Mercader.

The V&A proceeds with a section Gringolandia with a Kahlo self-portrait on the Mexico-US border of 1932. There is an impressive surrealist painting depicting Mexican rural vs US manufacturing economies.

Working in close collaboration with Museo Frida Kahlo, the V&A displays more than 200 objects from the Blue House. Kahlo’s personal items including outfits, letters, jewellery, cosmetics, medicines and medical corsets were discovered in 2004, 50 years after being sealed in the Blue House by her husband Diego Rivera. Much more was understood about Kahlo’s accident after the discovery of the objects in the Blue House.

A highlight of the exhibition is the resplandor, a lace headdress worn by the women of the matriarchal society from the Ishmus of Tehuantepec region in Southern Mexico, paired with a self-portrait of Kahlo wearing it.

There are examples of intricately hand painted corsets and prosthetics. Her vividly-coloured cosmetics are striking in the celebrated portraits by photographer Nickolas Muray which show her smiling and wearing many of the distinctive Tehuana garments on display.

Kahlo’s self-portraits are more severe and show a woman with a steely determination. In one dramatic Self Portrait With Monkeys, 1943, Coyoacán, she depicts herself and surrounding monkeys looking rather surprised, if not shocked. As well as a display of her beautiful Mexican folklore-inspired dresses, is a moving Magical realist painting The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Me, Diego, Senor Xolotl, 1949, Coyoacán, where she depicts Rivera as a babe in arms.

Kahlo used her striking appearance as a political statement, crafting her identity to reflect her own mestizo (mixed-race) identity and allegiance to Mexican identity.

Mexico flourished in the 1920s and 1930s as a liberal destination that attracted foreign artists, writers, photographers and documentary film makers, in what became known as the Mexican Renaissance. The V&A also shows photographs of traditions in clothing, architecture and the popular arts taken by Edward Weston and Tina Modotti in the 1920s that made an imprint on the Mexican imagination and its perception abroad.

Frida Kahlo and flowers, exhibition in New York City

This video is called The Life and Times of FRIDA KAHLO (1907~1954): (DOCUMENTARY).

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

UNITED STATES: The New York Botanical Garden announced today that it is planning a major exhibition on Frida Kahlo next year that will examine how nature influenced her artwork.

It will also reimagine Kahlo’s garden and studio outside Mexico City, known as Casa Azul.

“Frida Kahlo’s Garden” will be on view from May 16 2015.

A group of rare paintings and works on paper highlighting Kahlo’s use of botanical imagery will also be on display.

This video is called Treasures of New York: The New York Botanical Garden.

“I don’t know how to write love letters,” Frida Kahlo wrote in 1946. “But I wanted to tell you that my whole being opened for you. Since I fell in love with you everything is transformed and is full of beauty… love is like an aroma, like a current, like rain.”. Read more here.

“‘Look How Many Works By Frida Kahlo We Were Able To Get’ could be the title of most Kahlo-inspired exhibitions, one art dealer remarked to Artnet. As for private collectors, only about 60 works have made it to the auction block in the past two decades, according to an Artnet investigation. With all our love for Frida Kahlo, why does her work seem so elusive?” (Read more here)

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera on Mexican money

From the Los Angeles Times in the USA:

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera to be reunited on Mexican bill

August 30, 2010 | 3:47 pm

The Bank of Mexico said Monday it would place in circulation a new 500-peso bill featuring the well-known faces of two of the country’s best-known artists, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. In the bank’s official video to promote the bill’s anti-counterfeiting features (embedded above in Spanish), two figures resembling the celebrity couple stroll in costume around traditional and modern sites in Mexico.

The previous face on the 500-peso bill was Ignacio Zaragoza, hero of the Battle of Puebla. Milenio reports that in 2006, efforts to replace his face on the note were resisted in Congress. This time, the Bank of Mexico said it had the autonomy to change the look of Mexico’s currency as it bolsters efforts to combat money laundering and counterfeiting. …

The faces of Rivera and Kahlo appear on opposite sides of the new bill, along with reproductions of works by them. The note has six anti-fraud features, including a watermark and relief text. In September, Mexico begins celebrating 100 years since the start of the revolution and 200 years since declaring independence from Spain.

— Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Fortunately, not all central banks in the world put pictures of anti-Semitic politicians on their money, like in Romania

Frida Kahlo retrospective in Berlin—Part 1: The “Kahlo myth” and the reality: here.

Frida Kahlo retrospective in Berlin—Part 2: Frida Kahlo and communism: here.

Siân Ruddick visits a new exhibition of the art and revolutionary politics of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo: here.

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace, Hummingbird and Unibrow, 1940

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, full name: Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón, was born in 1907 in Mexico City.

Her father was a photographer of Hungarian Jewish descent, who had been born in Germany; her mother was Spanish and Native American.

Health problems plagued her most of her life.

Nevertheless, she led a very active life, both artistically and politically.

She was often included in the Surrealist movement; not by herself, however.

In July 1954, Frida Kahlo made her last public appearance, when she participated in a communist demonstration against the overthrow of the left-wing Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz.

Soon afterwards, on 13 July, she died, in the ‘Blue House‘ where she was born.

It is a museum today.