"For nothing this wide universe I call,

Save thou, my Rose; in it thou art my all."

monsieur-j:

Frida Kahlo - Guinevere Van Seenus by Luigi + Iango - Vogue Germany June 2014
amchphotography:

Looks can be deceiving.
Right after knowing such an icon was on the cover of an influential fashion magazine like Vogue, I gave myself a chance and read the articles in it. One specially caught my attention: “Las Apariencias Engañan” (Looks can be deceiving) by José Forteza. I found the article beautifully written, so I decided I’d share it with you. I translated it earlier this afternoon.
Hope you like it as much as I did.





Looks can be deceiving - by José Forteza
"To live!" A fast and expected answer that was kept in the memory of those who attended painter Amelia Peláez conference three decades ago. The question regarded what the artist had achieved through the art of one of her biggest inspirations among the artists that marked the contemporary scene in Latin America: Frida Kahlo.
This woman that defies us with the most lewd of stares from each one of her self-portraits, makes any attempt to isolate her edges end up in soft sketch. We could venture to scrutinize her epistolary in detail, to psychoanalyze the intentions she meant to leave in the most secret of her photographs, or even try to gather the opinions of those who breathed in her surroundings, her stage, her world. Everything will be in vane.
Blasphemers those who dare to criticize her painting or disagree with her thoughts, for they’ll be denied the privilege of sharing their opinions again. Those who look in disdain that sexuality she proudly proclaimed or the burst of color and shapes of her attire will remain inert in the monotony returned by the mirrors on their walls. In the end, she’ll keep staring in triumph -although with no petulance- under the most unexplainably sensual eyebrows of the orthodox canons of beauty’s history. Her message filled in irony coming from her eyes will be: “And you do think you’ve unveiled me?”
The impossibility of describing Frida resides in the fact that she is many women in one. There’s the playful and fragile girl, yet tomboy-looking one, who would be the leader of a male crowd. Then, we discover the distressed one, in which it’s hard to find the end of her ability to suffer for others and herself. Right after, an unbreakable will capable of overcoming anything shows. Another figure comes in to show the passionate lover willing to do anything to spread love among men, women, lush silhouettes, parrots, headressed figures, and even a wide range of intellectuals. We also find ourselves compelled to unveil a goddess of feminine sensuality measured in completely unexpected parameters.
Another place is taken by the political activist who knows that history will be the only one backing up the validity of her cause. And all of them gather together in the most complex of them all: the Frida that comes as the response to an aesthetic so personal that vetoes the predominance of influences, and comes alive as artwork, artistic criteria… and attire.
Such strong women override, yet sustain, the existence of the other and, by doing so, they send a message so simple and diaphanous that only the greatest minds get to understand it: looks can be deceiving.
For some, Frida was a surrealist without necessarily being one. For others, she was always trying to be on the spotlight when she was actually just calling for a place to be herself. Being controversial wasn’t a call for leadership but a mere resource of belonging with a different view on things. The range of color, shapes, and scales she works with is the most efficient antidote against self-consciousness… And again, we fall for the constant temptation of analyzing her while she laughs at us knowing she keeps something from us, something she won’t tell.
Let’s stick to what we know, the evident: letting ourselves go in the flow of worshipping and describing the myth. Frida Kahlo played an unavoidable and significant role in the life of post-revolutionary Mexico, and transcended as one of the precursors of the contemporary feminine movement in the rest of America and the world. From Peláez, to Rosa Tavárez, they all owe her some… or much.
With the arrival of the seventies and feminism, remarkable women in different disciplines make of her looks an icon, almost to the point of canonizing her. The eighties relate her to the chicano movement and, by the nineties arrival, she’s already gained an important spot in the gay culture imagery. She’s a kaleidoscope before which no one stays indifferent: everyone asks for a piece of the intrepid heroine of the indescribable brows. Frida -with all these diverse women who inhabit inside her- to this point is both an ethical and aesthetic feminine compound, whose metaphors address rationality and sensibility under a unique approach.
And then, the unexpected happens. In the new century that barely holds a couple of decades under its arm, Kahlo is noticed by a fashion industry with the thirties in mind. And it’s then when the industry rediscovers the fascination this woman awoke in photographers such as Murray (photograph on cover by him), designers like Schiaparelli, and influential books in the business, like Vogue. The woman who redefined beauty is now a muse of style, and glides gracefully with all the richness of her ethnicity. The message of another genius that had the courage of defying the established -Gabrielle Coco Chanel- melts with the exuberance of a one of a kind artist, owner of all the expressive resources. The result makes us hold our breath and increase the fantasies of the myth.
Light seems warmer, music louder, time flows effortless as a female figure imposes an interesting walk, the unusual features, the uneven height… but we already know looks can be deceiving. 
She owns the show, one she knew how to live.
Frida Kahlo is on the runway.





If you read the whole thing, thanks!
All the best. 
-Alejandro
Pin by Rachel Kerr on Pin Up Girls | Pinterest   (clipped to polyvore.com)
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