#1 Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who drew artistic inspiration from Mexican folk culture. Her art often contained autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. Kahlo has been described as a Surrealist or magical realist.

Born in 1907 in Coyoacan Mexico, she was disabled by polio as a child and at the age of 18 was seriously injured in a traffic accident which caused her pain and medical problems for the rest of her life. Prior to her accident she had been a promising student headed for medical school but in the aftermath of her accident had to abandon higher education. During her long recovery she began to explore the life of an artist with her own work, painting mostly small self-portraits. She met and married celebrated muralist Diego Rivera and was often overshadowed by him. She came to the attention of Surrealist artist Andre’ Breton which eventually led to her becoming the first Mexican artist featured at the Louvre in France.

Similar to many other Mexican women artists and intellectuals of her time, Kahlo adopted wearing traditional indigenous Mexican peasant clothing to emphasize her mestiza ancestry – long colorful skirts, elaborate headdresses and masses of jewelry. Her identification with La Raza, the people of Mexico, and its culture were important facets of her art throughout her life.

Throughout the 1940s Khalo continued to participate in exhibitions in Mexico and the United States. She also began to teach and became a founding member of the Seminario de Cultura Mexicana, although her always fragile health began to decline in the same decade. She had her first solo exhibition in Mexico in 1953, shortly before her death at the age of 47.

Her work was rediscovered by art historians and political activists in the 1970s, and by the 1990s she was a recognized figure in art history and regarded as an icon for Chicanos, feminists and the LGBTQ movement.

Our lovely scarecrow was created by Leslie Plunkett, a talented artist who teaches Papier Mache and Ceramics at Creative Arts Group.

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This scarecrow can be found at  108 N. Baldwin Ave., Sierra Madre, CA 91024

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