Celebrating Frida: The Art of Frances Perea

Every year, I post something around this time, to honor Frida Kahlo and her birthday… This year, I want to see Frida through artists’ eyes. So I’m asking several guest artists to talk about Frida as they see her, as they channel her~ her life’s experience and work~through and into their own art.

Every year, I  post something around this time, to honor artist-icon Frida Kahlo and her birthday (July 6). 

aafridaBirthdayArtist: Frances Perea

Last year’s post, was about going to the Mission to see the new documentary of her years in San Francisco. I posted some of my favorite photos to commemorate her life with favorite quotes.

50a42deb5b232cade08d884ee5ce25c1The Year before- I posted a very cool video showing Frida in her world; a day in the life.


This year, I want to see Frida through artists’ eyes. So I’m asking several guest artists to talk about Frida as they see her, as they channel her~ her life’s experience and work~through and into their own art.  I’ll be posting a few artists’ work in the next week.

We begin with Frances Perea, an artist whom I discovered on Etsy (the global market place these days for art and artisan hand-crafted artworks.)  Everyday on Etsy, is a day to discover new photographers, sculptors, painters, collage artists, clothing and jewelery designers, you name it- from  all ends of the globe. And the community just keeps growing. I love seeing all countries represented, in all genres imaginable.  Crazy inspiring.

Artist Frances Perea: What I love about her work- it is bright, symbolic, colorful, meaningful, accessible coolness- the way, it seems, that Frida would have appreciated it too.


Tara: Hi Frances~ I was very happy the day I discovered your art on Etsy. Thank you this interview.  I’d like to start by asking, how you see Frida and how does she move through your work?”

Frances: “My depictions of Frida are generally fun and light-hearted. She was someone who lived life with zest after all. I think she would have found great amusement at our devotion to her. Occasionally I delve into the more serious side of Frida’s life, searching for an interpretation of her wounded heart as in my depiction called “Aqui Me Ahogo, Y Tu?”

Aqui Me Ahogo

Frances: “What inspires me most about Frida is the fierce tenacity she had for life in spite of the many difficult challenges she was faced with and had to live with. She was a living breathing work of art expressed in her dress, hair, jewelry, paintings and the way in which she opened her heart to those fortunate to have been in her circle of friends and family. She was also someone who was not afraid to speak her mind.”

Tara: I like your words “fierce tenacity”.  This is one thing I appreciate in so much art of Frida: certain features may show or symbolize a starkness or edginess- like her work- but it is so often juxtaposed in the bright colors of the Mexican culture; colors of celebration. This is what I cannot get enough of, in contemporary art that is influenced by Frida’s life.

Tara:  What is your favorite Frida Quote?

Frances: “My favorite Frida quote:

“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”

Tara:  Wow. Beautiful. What is new in your shop and in your creative endeavors soon on the horizon?

Frances: “The art I create currently featuring Frida, takes the form of paper doll collages.

Frida Doll-FrancesPereaSource

There is more to see at Frances’ Perea’s art shop here on Etsy– check her out: her evocative works are uplifting, compelling, and the prices are quite reasonable. They all make for great gifts.   


Que Viva Frida! Happy Birthday

Celebrating Frida this whole weekend in the SF Bay. Here are favorite photos, quotes, and excerpts from dedicated websites about her life.

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh

and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is

the most ridiculous thing.”    -Frida Kahlo

San Francisco is celebrating the life and legacy of Frida this weekend, her anniversary. Teatro Frida just showed a 1966 documentary of her time with friends here in the Bay Area, circa 1930’s, plus the first 1980’s Mexican film of her life.

Frida with flowers

Born on July 6th, 1907 in Coyoacan, Mexico, Frida’s life was rich with experience, art, and historic relevance- all overlapping a tumultuous time in Mexico when the struggle for social change and justice gained momentum.  (Sources: wikepedia, and Frida official website- Mexico)

The Mexican Revolution began when Frida was three years old in 1910. Frida, with her rebellious soul, always preferred to give her year of her birth as 1910 in order for all to associate her directly with the revolution.


Frida was blessed with a good home, committed parents, and an artistic father who was a great photographer. Challenges began for Frida in her early childhood, with a severe case of polio.


“I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because

I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head

without any other consideration.”

Frida and Diego were married on August 21, 1929 and this “marked the beginning of one of the most well known and extravagant love stories known to humankind. The loving couple soon became iconic throughout the world. At first, Frida accompanied Diego throughout the United States as he was commissioned to paint frescos in cities such as San Francisco, Detroit and New York. Little by little, Frida started to establish her own prestige and fame and soon became world-renowned for her own work, personality, and authenticity.”


Frida broke artistic molds, shunned traditions, and demonstrated her unique expression through hard work as she developed her own style. In 1938, Frida met Andre Breton. He described her artwork as “surrealism of the highest level.” Frida responded by saying:

“I do not paint dreams…. I paint my reality…”

Andre Breton introduced Frida to Julian Levy, who helped her set up an exhibition in New York City in 1939, and subsequently in France. Frida became the first Mexican artist to exhibit her own work at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Though Frida’s life-long experience of pain was undeniable, the principal elements of Frida’s artistic life are considered to be love, joy, passion and creativity. Frida showed great perseverance for achieving her dreams and also showed her happiness, love and passion for life despite all the adversities she overcame. Frida was able to redefine her life through her art and she fulfilled one more dream when she had her first exhibition in Mexico City in 1953.

life-frida-kahlo“Frida lived life to its fullest in the most passionate of ways. Her iconic existence, unique expression and extraordinary artwork have provided humanity with continuing optimism, strength and courage for the future. She died on July 13, 1954, and left behind a legacy that will forever impact and influence the world regardless of age, gender, nationality, and ethnicity”:

“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”
Frida Kahlo


Here is awesome footage of Frida and Diego at home. (SFMoma)


Frida Kahlo’s Birthday

Celebrate Frida’s Birthday this week~

Another thing to celebrate this month is Frida’s Birthday (July 5th).

Thank you Frida for your amazing example of living in the face of so many obstacles.

“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”
Frida Kahlo

I love her style of chunky stone jewelry.  Here are some Frida inspired pieces I made some years back.  And a newer piece on the right, “La Vampira” more modern.

” I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.”     Frida Kahlo