Latinx Artists MeetUps | Visual Arts

Defiance | Portraits of Frida

Invited Artists | Portraits of Frida | January - March 2024

Michaela Clift

Breaking the Mold (2023)               
6 x 7.5     
Graphite on Rag Paper
I am an artist living working and creating in Rhode Island. My personal work involves the relationship between women and flowers in art, exploring the concept of being a woman. I was inspired to submit this piece of Frida titled “Breaking the Mold” because she did just that. Her work is proof that women have been defying stereotypes for decades and the symbolism in her work not only speaks to that rebellion but her proof of her strength and perseverance from tragedy as she painted mostly all her works while bedridden.

Kyle Dumkuski

Frida Kahlo (2023)
11 x 14
Matte Graphite and Water-soluble Crayon
I’m a 24-year-old Rhode Island based artist. I’m a mixed media artist with a graphic and surrealistic approach. Prior to this, I didn’t know much about Frida Kahlo. I read up on and learned more about Frida and her remarkable story while creating this piece and it heavily influenced the outcome.

Tamara Díaz

The Recovery (2017)
24 x 36
Acrylic Paint on Canvas
I am a local Latinx artist and when not painting, I am a social worker. About 15 years ago, I went. to Casa Azul to see Frida's house/museum. It was very inspirational, and she has greatly impacted me as an artist. I especially love her journals, her courage to authentically share her pain, and her open minded and rebellious spirit.

Frida reminds me of how every day is precious. When she was 18, she was on a bus and in one second, an accident changed her whole life. This is a constant reminder and discussion (as a social worker) about the importance of being so grateful and appreciative of what we have, especially when we and our loved ones are healthy or together.

The fact that Frida had to be in bed to recover from her accident is parallel to how I felt when I had a surgery a few years back. I had art exhibit lined up and I was not sure I would recover in time for the show. I joked with an artist friend that they should bring me into the gallery in my bed like Frida. He said, "LET'S DO IT!" So he created a whole bed in the gallery and I reenacted my hospital room. I put all the paintings I had painted about the surgery and had many symbolic items in this part installation-part performance piece. My face was pained as Frida, and I was in the bed (at the opening) while guests visited me one at a time. This event was an amazing spectacle inspired by my connection to Frida.

René Gómez

La Mirada (2023)
18 x 24
Acrylic on canvas
La Mirada is how I choose to portray Frida Kahlo, knowing that many women admire her for her unapologetic self-expression, portrayal of female strength, and how she challenged societal norms. Her art often delves into personal experiences of pain and identity, resonating with many who appreciate authenticity and empowerment. Additionally, Kahlo's ability to navigate and transcend adversity in her life is inspiring to many women.

I personally am just a big fan of her unique facial features like her eyes and eyebrows.

Marta V. Martínez

Oh, the pain | Dolores (2023)
11 x 17
Mixed media, collage
At the age of 18, a near-fatal bus accident stopped Frida Kahlo’s ambition of becoming a doctor. Her spine was torn apart, she suffered a broken collarbone, ribs, and pelvis and she was permanently disabled.

After the accident, Frida was confined to a full body cast for three months. During her time in the cast, she was unable to move her legs or arms. She was also in a great deal of pain. However, she used this time of recovery as an opportunity to paint.

Frida was forced to wear plaster corsets for most of her life and took to painting intricate murals across them, turning herself into a canvas.

I created this collage using an image of one of Frida's corsets that shows her spinal chord as she imagined it looked after the accident. I chose this particular image and added the colorful flowers because I believe we should not identify Kahlo by her pain, but rather celebrate the ways she used her afflictions to understand life and to create beautiful art. The butterfly symbolizes her intentional transformation into an artist during her time of pain (Dolores).

Jessie Jewels

Luscious Frida
16 x 20
mixed media: collage, acrylic painting, etching, resin, found objects and antique frame restoration
I am a lifelong resident of the Ocean State, where I work out of my home studio in Warwick, Rhode Island. I studied art and education at Rhode Island College. After college I started my own small business selling artwork and teaching workshops. When I am not in my studio I enjoy working for the circus as a fire dancer, performing as a professional mermaid (Miss Mermaid Rhode Island 21’, 22’ &23’), modeling and photography. “Life is Your Canvas” is truly my motto for living.
For the artwork I created I used a multitude of mediums and techniques including collage, acrylic painting, etching, resin, found objects and antique frame restoration. This process was inspired by years of working and experimenting with epoxy resin. I also created various commissions for clients preserving their own collectables into artwork.

When I think of Frida’s life and work, resilience is the first thing that comes to mind. Against the odds she expressed herself through art with wholehearted authenticity. I’m sure she was told that she was “too much” for some people, but she didn’t care she just kept on creating. As a woman and an artist, she inspires me to do the same.

María Payano

Retazo de Madera (started 2020, finished 11/29/23)
6 x 8
Wood, color pencils
Being a Latin woman at very young age I found relatability to Frida, her art, her story. I struggled being a girl, and felt at times, as if was curse to a woman. Frida’s art and story reminded me that there is power and beauty in mist of caos and pain. What matters is what you make if this life. You have a choice and a voice. I use my art as my voice unapologetically. I want my art to help others feel something and help keep Fridas legacy alive through me. @marmelaart

Grechel Rosado

FRIDA (2021)
8 x 11
linocut relief print
Grechel Rosado is a Puerto Rican printmaker, illustrator, and educator currently navigating the Creative Capital of Providence, Rhode Island. Grechel feels immense joy to have been born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico despite moving to the US at an early age. Her whole life has been at the crossroads of living simultaneously between her Hispanic heritage and American upbringing which has echo loudly into her body of work.

Grechel primarily utilizes printmaking as a means of communication; storytelling fragments of her life and lived experiences through the artform.

By combining elements of femininity, cultura latina, and social justice themes together, Grechel is leaving her voice in a world that has long withheld historical representation of both Women and Latina artists.

She is the true definition of a powerhouse

Frida Kahlo is a true powerhouse in her own right. She was able to establish herself as one of the most recognizable artists internationally despite having to navigate a white, male centric art world. Frida has been a muse of mine for decades now. She embodies everything I celebrate about my identity and artwork.

Natalia Restrepo

The Colors of Frida (2020)
24 x 36
Acrylic
I was born in Medellin, Colombia and migrated to the US with my family when I was 8. I have always loved the arts and in fact planned on pursuing an art degree after high school, but circumstances took me in a different direction. I joined the Navy after high school and left my home state of Rhode Island. The job opportunities that the military provided led me to pursue a graduate degree in cybersecurity, however I never stopped painting.

Frida Kahlo inspires me because her art reflects her physical and emotional pain while also conveying her resilience and strength and it is the true reflection of my own life experiences.

Niko Tolentino

Frida’s Dreams (2023)
16 x 20
Acrylic paint, spray paint on canvas
I am a multi-disciplinary visual artist from Rhode Island. The styles I use vary depending on whether a project is a mural, canvas painting or digital rendering. I’ve always tried to crystallize a moment or a feeling in color and shape.

Frida is such an interesting person. How could I avoid the chance to celebrate her memory?

Pablo Youngs

Object / Subject (2023)
12 X 16
Spray paint & stencil on canvas
I have been working with spray paint and stencils on canvas for a few years; I believe it’s the perfect marriage of studio painting and graphic design.

I admire Frida’s position as a cultural symbol of struggle and the overcoming of extreme life challenges. Her literal use of symbols has become the standard in “magical realism,” and for that she deserves all the credit in the world.

Carmen Vázquez

Frida Kahlo
18 x 24
Acrylic and mixed media
My name is Carmen Vazquez, better known as "Carmencita." I am an Afro-Latina self-taught Acrylic Painter from Providence, RI. My creative practice is deep rooted in expressing my healing journey, identity and inspirations. In other words, I use my art as a personal diary.

In the past, I participated in RISD's Project Open Door (POD) program, painted a mural in Zacapa, Guatemala of the national bird, the Quetzal and painted Las Tres Muñecas Sin Rostro located on Broad Street. My artistic style varies in symbolism and abstract. Most of my artwork is vibrant. However, I'm very open to experimenting with different artistic styles.

Frida Kahlo's value of vulnerability helped me to express that through my art work. Her creative practice inspires me to not be afraid of authenticity, curiosity and embracing who I am. She reminds me that rebellion is beautiful when it is molded into art. Frida Kahlo will forever be an Artist I admire wholeheartedly.

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