It is hard to find a more diverse city than Los Angeles. Part of its history lives in many of its inhabitants of Mexican ancestry. The life and art of Mexican artist Frida Khalo have touched the hearts of people around the world. She is celebrated in Mexico for her attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and by feminists for her depiction of the female experience and form.
Marisol de las Casas and Miguel Angel Rios, plastic artists, organized a unique event celebrating Frida's life and Mexican art crafts. This was a colorful day that included poetry, theater, music, and artwork. The sold-out event occurred at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center under the banner of "Los Moles de Frida."
Hundreds of visitors enjoyed and talked to the artist that showed the several styles found only in certain villages across our southern neighbor country. Among the artist group, we saw impressive labor that requires immense talent. The embroidery works of Juan Varela (Arte Mixtlan) exude delicate threadwork that looks like a painting from a distance. The intricacy of the designs and the careful selection of hues make Juan's work worthy of any Museum collection. From Arkansas came Isaac Helguera, whose work incorporates the Olinala Artcraft style from Guerrero, Mexico. His oil paintings reflect the moods of the Mexican icon Frida. Rudy Shamanatl creates unique Papier -Mache sculptures, and for this show, he made a unique piece that incorporated many of Frida's life moments. The paper pulp work was carefully manipulated and colored to express the subject's suffering. Chicana artist Grace Barraza Vega was there as well with her colorful portraits. Actress Samantha Ledezma Montenegro came from Austin TX, to perform on stage the play Viva la Vida, based on Frida's life. Poet Claudia Marquez delivered short stories throughout the day that delighted the audience.
The "Moles de Frida" combined in a single day all art forms for people of all ages to enjoy. It continues the appreciation that so many people have towards the woman that change the status quo. Stay tuned for next year's event.