Size: 77x105cm; 30x41in
Weaver: Valfren Bautista
Price: $800 USD
Materials ans methods: criollo sheep wool hand dyed with colorfast aniline dyes using an exhaustive method. Handwoven on a Zapotec style loom of the 16th century adapted from European styles. Woven using a 7 threads per inch reed.
Design, patterns and symbols.
This rug is a replica of the painting "Autoretrato con monos" by Frida Kahlo, 1943.
Frida often said that she painted herself because she is the person she knew the best. Out of about 150 of her paintings, a third a self portraits; she would put to shame selfie teenagers of our day.
As we know from her Biography Frida Kahlo had gone through many tragic episodes through her life so most her paitings depict the pain and suffering she was bearing and celebrating it in colorful ways like a true warrior spirit. From that perspective, this painting is considered as a "polite" painting as described it by Karimcorbi.
In 1943, Frida started to teach an art class in La escuela La esmeralda in Mexico city. She was an unconventional teacher as narrated by Barbara Mujica in her book, mi hermana frida. Frida arrived on the first day of school and had no lesson prepared; one of her female students told her that they have never had a female teacher in their class unti then. Frida acknoledged that she was not prepared to be a teacher, that she would learn as much from them as they from her. She then proceded to tell them that they could paint whaterver they wanted and however they wanted; they painted fruits, markets, people wherever they interest and curiosity led them. Frida would spoil her students with the liberty that the academia restricted on them. Frida would often bring food and snaks for her students and soon she won their hearts and praise; so much so that when she had to quit her teaching job becasue of her physical pain and illness her students went often to visit her at her house in Coyoacán. Not all of them could afford the long journey from Mexico city though so at the end only 4 of them remained and they were know as los Fridos.
Frida once said that she paints monkeys because they are a metaphor of the childer she never had; some speculate that these four monkeys probably represent those four students that were so loyal to her until the end. Frida had some unreconciled feelings about children because while she was teaching her students surprised her with a birthday party and called themselves her sons and daughters; that must have triggered something in Frida because she didn't take it well and ended up shouting at her students and kicking them out of the place telling them she has no children, how dare them calling her mom.
Frida Kahlo was in a constant battle to keep afloat over the many challenges that her destiny had for her and also maitaining her image of fierce and strong woman, towards the end of her life as she got weaker and weaker she would still put herslef together to receive and entertain the myriads of people, celebrities, journalists and artists that would come to vist her. She walked the path of the warrior in her own magnificent way even if she had to go to ther own art exhibit on a stretcher, she would find the strenght and energy to make statement that would stirr news for days! And here she is seemingly "polite" but with a world to bear within her wild heart surrounded by her most meaningful desire to be a mother.
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