This week’s Design Highlight is in honor of one of our favorite icons around Big Raven… Frida Kahlo. She’s adorned two of our yoga mats, and she’s on our t-shirt (that so many of you have commented on and even photographed at our live events — our “Let’s Get Down, Dog” shirts).
You’ve seen her all over pop culture; Frida is on t-shirts, quoted in Pinterest collections, plastered on posters and in modern works of art. She died in 1954 and still, 64 years after her death, she remains an iconic figure. Why?
Frida was a Mexican-German artist who’s widely considered one of Mexico’s greatest painters. She is also an icon for feminists everywhere. She is known for her intense self-portraits through which she explored her personal and national identity as well as her emotional and physical suffering. Her art has been called both beautiful and disturbing.
She is remembered for her fierce individuality and her rejection of popular ideals of beauty and aesthetics. She was a unique and independent woman who experienced trauma throughout her life, but accepted herself for who she was.
As a teenager she was involved in a trolley car accident that left her with physical and psychological pain for the remainder of her life. In adulthood, Frida struggled in an unconventional relationship with fellow artist Diego Rivera, a relationship that was riddled with marriage, divorce, remarriage and infidelity. And despite her adoration for children, she suffered two miscarriages and never had the opportunity to be the parent she so longed to be.
Despite the hardships she faced, Frida strove to be honest to herself. Not in vanity did she claim 1910 as her birth year instead of 1907 as it actually was: She fiercely loved her country, and even personally identified herself AS Mexico, and with this in mind maintained that the year of her birth was 1910, the year the Mexican Revolution began. Frida was a revolutionary artist and wasn’t going to conform to something so mundane as a calendar to holistically align herself with her beloved homeland.
Frida used her artwork as a way to express herself in all her complexity. Her self-portraits clearly showed her suffering. Their emotional rawness is the reason so many people find her work disturbing and grotesque. One of her most well-known pieces, “The Two Fridas”, feature a bleeding heart. Another piece, “Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird”, depicts her with a necklace made of thorns and blood running down her neck. Undoubtedly, the intensity of her paintings made Kahlo’s artwork all the more poignant. Through her numerous self-portraits she embodied all of her flaws, and accepted them. Her “flaws” are what made Kahlo so unique and inspiring.
However, in spite of her difficult experiences, Frida had a lust for life that was and still is admirable. Her artwork and self cannot be easily defined, which makes her such a complex and exquisite woman. It’s this spirit and individuality that inspired us to create our own small tribute to Frida.
We strive to embody the same lust for life that she pursued, and to present it to all of you, to remind you that your uniqueness is what makes you special. Embrace yourself, flaws and all. You’re bold, beautiful, unique and magnificent just the way you are.
“I don't give a shit what the world thinks. I was born a bitch, I was born a painter, I was born fucked. But I was happy in my way. You did not understand what I am. I am love. I am pleasure, I am essence, I am an idiot, I am an alcoholic, I am tenacious. I am; simply I am…”
— Frida Kahlo
In honor of Ms. Kahlo, please take $10 off our She Brings It to the Canvas yoga mat this week only (Monday 7/1 through this Sunday, 7/7) using the promo code FRIDA! at checkout.