Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Frida Kahlo

Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird - 1940

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter who is best known for her self-portraits. Kahlo began her painting career after her horrible traffic accident in 1925. “The accident left her in a great deal of pain while she spent three months recovering in a full body cast.” She recovered from her injuries and regained her ability to walk, but also had relapses of extreme pain throughout the rest of her life. 

The Broken Column - 1944

The isolation caused by her injuries, after the accident, influenced Frida’s artworks, self-portraits in particular. She said, “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.” Her husband, Diego Rivera, was also a great influence on her painting style. Kahlo and Rivera had a very unstable marriage, but Kahlo pulled inspiration for her pieces from her experiences with Rivera.  

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera - 1931

Her work is thought to be Naïve art or folk art even though Mexican culture and Amerindian cultural tradition are very important in her works. She created at least 140 paintings, dozens of drawings and studies. “Of her paintings, 55 are self-portraits which often incorporate symbolic portrayals of physical and psychological wounds.” Her paintings were drawn from personal experiences such as her marriage, her operations, and her inability to bear children. Her works are full of ideas of pain and suffering. The pain she experienced in her life translated into several of her pieces. Frida Kahlo was influenced by native Mexican culture, which is shown in her use of bright colors, intense representations and original style. “She combined elements of the classic religious Mexican tradition with surrealist renderings.” Frida Kahlo experienced horrific pain and grief from her accident, but that event transformed her as an artist. She made many inspiring pieces and made a name for herself among modern Mexican artists.

The Two Fridas - 1939

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Roberto Montenegro

     Roberto Montenegro was born in February 1885 in Guadalajara and died in October of 1968 in Mexico City. Growing up during the Mexican Revolution he and his family moved to United Stated in 1910, but then returned to Mexico in 1920. Before the move to the United States he studied under Felix Bernardelli and later on he studied history and drawing at Academy of San Carlos. in 1907 he received a scholarship to study at the Academia de San Fernando in FranceThere he meant many people among the many was Picasso. After studying in France he became interested in Cubism. At the Academy of San Carlos Diego Rivera was a classmate of Roberto. Diego Rivera was one of the Mexican artists to be in the Mexican Mural Movement, along with him was Roberto. Even though Roberto was among the first artists in the movement, he spent most of his career making illustrations and portrait paintings.
     One of Montenegro's most popular works of art was a mural located in the San Pedro Y San Pablo College. The "Tree of life" is the the title of the mural and it was created in 1922. The subject of the mural is the origin and destiny of man. One of the influences of this piece was the Guadalajara Tap-Dance.
     Another popular work of art by Montenegro was another mural in the same building called The Festival of the Holy Cross. This murals subject was the Festival of may 3rd, which was a holiday celebrated by bricklayers and stonemasons. This mural was unfortunately painted of and lost. Scholars say that the mural was done in a style that almost directly represents Diego Rivera's style.




Mata Ortiz Pottery

In Northern Mexico, a remarkable ceramic arts revival is taking place. There in the village of Mata Ortiz, in Chihuahua Mexico, master potter Juan Quezada, inspired by ancient potsherds,
is leading a renaissance of the region's native art tradition. The contemporary work which parallels the art of indigenous ceramists to the north, similar to the work of Native American artists in the Southwestern United States such as the Hopi, Zuni, Acoma and others, have come to be known as Mata Ortiz Pottery. Pieces vary from those which focus on traditional designs to pots in which innovative style is featured. Mata Ortiz pottery ranks among the finest contemporary ceramics found anywhere in the world. Collections are seen in museums throughout North America. Each pot is made from locally dug clay. The Mata Ortiz clay is very plastic and has high resistance to the thermal shock during a firing.

There are well over five hundred potters making highly collectible earthenware, including fine poly chrome pieces, black-on-black, red pottery and animal figures. These potters continually experiment with new styles, clays, and paints. All of the ceramic pieces are hand-built, they are coiled pots or ollas. They use brushes handmade from children's hair and this allows for very fine line work. The firing process is a dung firing, cow manure is the preferred fuel for low temperature firings.  How Olla's are made.
Etched and bass relief Olla by Eduardo Olivas Quintana 
Artist Salvador Baca's black on black etched Olla