As many of you all learned today, on All Hallow’s Eve, Frida Kahlo is my favorite artist of all time, and a character I enjoy dressing up as. It’s not even her art that makes her my favorite, but more so her dynamic history, her spitfire sass, her rebellious side, her tumultuous love story with Diego Rivera, and her Mexican pride. I’d been Frida in the past, so pulling together her regalia was easy. The difference in being Frida this year was that my audience had changed. I wasn’t dressing up for friends at a party. Today, my viewing audience was a school full of 300 naive and eager learners. This time, my costume had something to share, someone to teach, and a story to tell.
As my classes today asked me about my costume, they all guessed I was something different. Some thought I was an Indian–in a way, they were right. Some thought I was a Senorita, a Mexican, a flower girl–they too were all right. As my character unfolded, they all learned that I was a powerful female artist, one who did not let men, society, and tragedy stop me from pursuing my political, emotional, and artistic dreams. I was injured in high school in a near fatal bus accident, I painted from bed, laying on my back and gazing at a mirror above me to paint “the subject that I knew best”–ME! I married a fat, ugly, famous, talented toad man, Diego. I had a pet monkey, cat, and parrot. I lived in a pink house, and a blue house, and I dressed in traditional Indian clothing to honor my Mexican heritage. They also learned that I suffered loss, infidelity, and died at a young age.
Just as I enjoy learning something new about fascinating Frida, today’s students were captivated by her colorful story, her personal artwork, and her feisty spirit. I was proud to use a day like today, Halloween, to teach about a beloved artist and to capture the attention and imagination of our students.
To Frida! R.I.P senorita!
And just for fun…here are a few of our other boys and ghouls!
Happy Halloween, Artists!