Wall of Girls
5. Frida Kahlo
This image is from a postcard I bought in Coyacan at The Blue House – former residence and Museum dedicated to the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. The postcard was sold to me by a security guard in 1993 at the Reception of The Blue House which was closed for 2 years of renovation.
Read my account of the escapade here.
More like this at Necro-Tourist pamphlet online.
“…Twentieth century Mexican artist Frida Kahlo positively celebrated her own excess facial hair – a so-called mono-brow, in numerous of her self-portraits she accentuates it almost into the brow of a third eye, a bindi, an organ of inner sight, pituitary gland. In European culture the ‘one-eyebrow’ insult is reserved exclusively for men; excessive hair, like one-eyebrow, hairy backs, or hairy shoulders, are perceived as masculine uglinesses, women shudder. Kahlo’s facial hairiness comes partly out of supposed ancient Aztec notions of female beauty that revered facial hair. But as Kahlo was only Mexican on her mother’s side, the accentuation of facial hairiness may also grow out of Kahlo’s own experiments with gender differentiation, cross-dressing & bi-sexuality.
Family photographs from the 1920’s show Kahlo posing, dressed in a man’s suit. Her 1940 painting “Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair” revisits that photograph, using the image as a typically flamboyant symbolic rejection of her own femininity & its perceived weaknesses. In the painting Kahlo’s head hair is cropped tight to the scalp, hanks of floppy discarded hair litter the floor. Kahlo herself is seated on a chair in an aggressive masculine pose. Don’t mess with me, hijo de puta…”
Extract from “Strawberry Fair Armpit Hair” by Bella Basura 2006.
First printed in Dreamflesh Vol 1 edited by Gyrus (ISBN 0955419603) 2006.
Revised and reprinted in Novelty 4 – Under The Skin. March 2016.