Frida Kahlo Viva la Vida

 

For Frida, her paintings were not a representation of dreams but a way to cope with the reality of life. She told her story from her own point of view and through the pain and passion of her experiences.

Family


Frida Kahlo was born July 6, 1907, in Coyoacan, Mexico. She was the third daughter of Wilhelm Kahlo and Matilde Calderon.

Her father, who later changed his name to Guillermo, was a German immigrant of Hungarian descent who worked as a photographer and held a liberally inclined set of views.

In contrast, her mother was a Mexican conservative deeply devoted to her Catholic faith. During her childhood, Frida was drawn more closely to her father than her mother since Frida couldn’t relate to the traditionalist view of women that the latter personified. Through this different type of thinking, she developed animosity towards the Catholic Church and became more drawn to her father’s intellectual pursuits of photography, reading, and painting.

Guillermo Kahlo’s success as a photographer landed him a job with the Mexican Government and its leader, Porfirio Diaz.  The Diaz regime was characterized by its adherence to a Darwinian type of social philosophy centering on the concept of “survival of the fittest”.

La Casa Azul

 

Early Years

The Blue House is the place where Frida Kahlo was born; and where she both lived and died.  In this location, a six-year-old Frida battled against Polio and won the fight. The disease left the dark-skinned and slender girl with a limp when she walked due to shrinking in her right leg, but it did not prevent her from developing a fierce character.  

In her youth, she was involved in many physical activities like running, wrestling, and swimming, but where she shined brightest was in the field of intellectual competitions, such as debate.  

Eventually, her intellectual ability and competitive spirit took her into becoming one of only 35 girls who was granted acceptance to the free and prestigious National Preparatory School

During this school period in Frida’s life, she became part of a group of intellectual bohemians called the “Cachuchas”, or the “Caps”, named in this manner because of the distinct style of hats they wore.  

Also during this time was when Frida met her first love; a young, outspoken, and most notable student in the school named Alejandro Gomez Arias. The couple would spend hours upon hours dissecting books and making sense of their time period, which was being defined by the Mexican Revolution. (Continues….) 

 


 

 

Guillermo Kahlo : Chronicles of Mexico

Wilhelm Kahlo  (26 October 1871 – 14 April 1941 ) was the father of Frida Kahlo.  He was born in the German Empire, son of a well to do jeweler.  

He attended the University of Nuremberg and later travel to Mexico in 1891 . It is interesting to note that his father paid for his trip as he did not get along well with his stepmother.

In Mexico, he changed his name from Wilhelm to Guillermo ,worked as a photographer and held a liberally inclined set of views.

He married  Matilde Calderon  a Mexican conservative deeply devoted to her Catholic faith. During her childhood, Frida was drawn more closely to her father than her mother since Frida couldn’t relate to the traditionalist view of women that the latter personified. Through this different type of thinking she developed animosity towards the Catholic Church and became more drawn to her father’s intellectual pursuits of photography, reading and painting.

Guillermo Kahlo’s success as a photographer landed him a job with the Mexican Government and its leader, Porfirio Diaz.  The Diaz regime was characterized by its adherence to a Darwinian type of social philosophy centering on the concept of “survival of the fittest”.

La Casa Azul

 Kahlo documented with his pictures, churches, landmarks, monuments, streets,  as well as factories and companies in Mexico. 

Frida later painted his father with his camera and inscribed it with the following loving words:

“Pinté a mi padre, Wilhelm Kahlo, de origen húngaro-alemán, artista fotógrafo de profesión, de carácter generoso, inteligente y fino; valiente por que padeció durante sesenta años epilepsia, pero jamás dejó de trabajar y luchar contra Hitler. Con adoración, su hija, Frida Kahlo.”

“I painted my father Wilhelm Kahlo, of  Hungrian-German origin,  artist photographer was his profession , of generous character, intelligent and refined; courageous because he suffered from epilepsy for 60 years but not once did he stop working or fighting against Hitler. With adoration from his daughter Frida Kahlo” 

Creating a Spectacular Dragon Step by Step Creation of an Alebrije

“Carving dragons thrills me because I always  create something different and I always keep on improving them. It is perhaps my favorite figure”

Luis Pablo

 

Here at Sandia Folk we have had the privilege of working closely through the years with the maestro Luis Pablo. We have been witnesses to his ascending journey and have been lucky to see the birth of many of his beautiful creations which we have promoted enthusiastically with collectors from all over the world.

 

Now, we have commissioned a spectacular dragon by him, museum quality, and have asked him to allow us to display pictures of his step-by-step process of elaboration. If you visit this article, you will be able to witness in almost real time the entire process; from the moment when he picks the tree trunk, until the moment he finalizes the piece signing it with his traditional candle.

 

Once the dragon is completed and arrives at our office in Texas, it will be available for purchase on line. It is important to note that every figure that we have on display on our website is a piece that we actually have in our possession and is ready to be shipped immediately from Texas.

 

We hope you enjoy the experience of joining Luis Pablo in the process of creating his most recent piece!

 

 

Barro Negro: The Art of Omar Fabian Black Clay from Oaxaca

I have been around clay all my life since I come from a family dedicated to the production of crafts made out of clay. As a child I was expected to help my parents because this was our livelihood.

I must confess I never liked to work with clay and being a ceramist never even crossed my mind. This is why I went on to college and majored in Graphic Design.

Omar Fabian in his Studio

I didn’t count on how powerful the attraction to clay was as a human experience, at least in may case, so seven years ago I started creating small pieces. I studied the properties of clay and how they could work with my ideas. I made a jug, a traditional vessel used to pull out water from a well. I named it “Transparency”; this was a cut out piece, cut with sharp tip metal blades, and designed in such way that when seen from any angle you could see the other side of the pot. This piece won first price in a statewide ceramic competition.

 

This is how my career as a Black Clay Ceramic Artist begun. I started out with the right foot so to say but life doesn’t always work like this. I really struggled to sell my art pieces so for a while and temporarily left my art and followed my profession.

 

The process of creation of a black clay vessel is very lengthy and dependent on the weather. My pieces are totally made by hand, with a traditional pre-Columbian potter’s wheel (a bowl placed upside-down with another bowl placed on top). The potter’s wheel rotates on its axel.

 

This is how a piece is built and it can take from 5 to 25 days to build depending on the size and complexity of design.

The Many Faces of Quetzalcoatl


Read it in Spanish

Quetzalcoatl, one of the main deities of pre-Hispanic civilizations, is present in most of 15th-century Mesoamerica. From the beginning, he has been attributed countless mysteries: he is considered a man, a deity, a priest, a myth or a legend.

 

The origin of his name comes from the Nahuatl and means Quetzal: a bird of beautiful plumage and Coatl, which means snake, resulting in what is commonly known as “the Plumed Serpent.”  

 

This deity was one of the most popular in Hispanic tradition and refers to the union of terrestrial and rain waters, which, among agricultural peoples, was essential for their survival, thus signifying the origin of life itself.

 

There are countless representations in history and art of Quetzalcoatl. Here we will feature a few of the most representative or interesting portrayals of this mystical figure. 

Pre-Columbian Representations: 

Quetzalcoatl Codex

 

             
Detail of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl in Teohtihuacan.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quetzalcoatl Picture on Yaxchilan Lintel Maya

 

 

Mexican Arts & Crafts

 


 

There are many ways of getting to know a country, its people, its customs and traditions. One is traveling the country from North to South and from East to West. Another is studying what has been written about it. And another is observing its daily life, talking with the people, investigating its customs.

 

Art is one of the fundamental elements of a people’s temperament; it is a faithful reflection of their relationship to the world and their way of looking at life.

 

A visit to Mexico is marked by the colorfulness found in the streets, the homes, and the utensils, an example of the joy every Mexican emanates, of his imagination, his skill in producing the most wonderful works, and in particular, his ability to create fantasies.

 

Crafts are a people’s imagination, dexterity and dreams, expressed in an article that brings together the past and the present. The fact is that in practically all areas of life in Mexico there is a fascinating mixture of the native and the contemporary.

 

A large number of the crafts that are produced today come from pre-Hispanic times, and many of them are still made with the same techniques that were used hundreds of years  ago! 

Mata Ortiz Pottery

In those times, the art of the people was basically religious.

Works were created to be used in ceremonies. The adoration of gods inspired the creation of masks,  paintings and drawings,  ritual objects such as bowls, incense holders, ceremonial robes…

On the other hand, trade between the different towns was very important because objects had to be made that served as merchandise.

The conquered peoples also had to pay, so they produced luxury articles, ceramic, precious fabrics, and objects made with feathers.