Monday, February 2, 2009

Lost in The Process

Some good intentions rose to the surface recently. I made a decision to create a doll for possible entry in an upcoming challenge, in the category of "Famous People". This will be a first for me, and there is a distinct possibility that I will not actually enter this piece... however, I have made a commitment to FINISH it, and to keep it in my personal collection. After much brainstorming and list making, I decided to make a Frida Kahlo doll, since she's always been a favorite figure of mine.

I have now checked out every book our local library system has in it's collection about her... and was thrilled to discover more inspiration online. I just discovered the 2007 title, Self-Portrait in a Velvet Dress: Frida's Wardrobe: Fashion from the Museo Frida Kahlo.

What a jaw-dropping book! It is the culmination of a monumental effort to document, catalog and restore Frida's huge clothing collection that was finally seen in 2004 for the first since her death, when her dressing room and bathroom were finally opened. Diego had ordered those two rooms to be locked when she died in 1954, and not to be opened or entered for 50 years... and his wishes were honored. Some things had disintegrated quite a bit, but others were well-preserved. OH, the COLORS... the embroidery, the lace, the hand-woven embellishments! Preservation and restoration experts are repairing and storing each piece properly now.

Numerous others have made art doll versions of Frida, of course, and I found some wonderful examples. My plans are to focus on her clothing and to make a representation of Frida as she was in life, not from any of her self-portraits. I have been sketching her face over and over... have made one test head/face...

and am just immersing myself in Frida's freaky world while I plan this piece. She causes the strangest emotions to come up for me. I've even found myself resenting the fact that she got to lay around doing nothing but paint and smoke cigarettes for years! Very strange and mixed feelings are churning around. We will see where this leads me!


Sarah said...

I love her! I have always been really drawn to her. I will have to check out that book. Can't wait to see the finished doll. Lay around smoking and painting.. what a life ;-)

Patti said...

Of course, she was in constant pain all that time, so I guess I don't envy that after all. I think if she had ever had children, she'd never have become such an accomplished artist... but who knows?

Flassie's Fil'a said...

OH it's nice to know of this
book on her wardrobe. She is
such and inspiration.

What a great idea to recreate
the clothes in doll form.

Congrats on Your Win at Elsa
Mora's blog!

God Bless You and Yours and
Your Creative Life!!!

Patti said...

Thank you so much for your kind words! I am ecstatic about winning the print from Elsa! She is amazing and I love her!