Here’s another book about Frida Kahlo, and this one doesn’t feature even a single original painting. What it does contain are encounters with her— curious, moving, or just fun—from around the world. From Frida fashion dolls to little clay Friditas, all of us at some point have encountered the countless souvenirs, images and mementos that reinvent the great Mexican artist, and keep her alive in popular memory.
Her own painting was steeped in Mexican folk art, and the connection has turned out to be curiously reciprocal. Artists, activists and academics around the world have been inspired by her life, art, and persona, to come up with extraordinary and at times very curious tributes to her. The ways in which she is repeatedly re-labeled and re-invented is unprecedented in the world of art. Is this global appropriation of Frida as an icon— Fridamania—just commercial kitsch?
Or is there another way of thinking about the phenomenon? Featuring a staggering variety of Frida objects, images and mementos in every conceivable material, this book traces some of the trails that Frida herself laid… a legacy which allows people to create their own countless versions of her.
Gaby Franger is an academic focussing on intercultural action projects around women’s studies. She also has a vast and irrepressible personal collection of Frida memorabilia which she has catalogued through this project.
Designer Ragini Siruguri is a visual communication designer from Hyderabad. She studied Communication Design from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune, and is passionate about photography and music, among other things. She loves to experiment with the smell of colours, the taste of words, and thinking between the lines.