Sunday, 30 September 2012

latter-day Frida

¡Viva la Revolucion!
Sydney-born painter and illustrator Emma Gale pays
homage to lionized Mexican painter and timeless
style icon Frida Kahlo through a series of allusive
portraits adding a present-day glamour to her persona
by dolling her up with beaded black dresses with fur
or feathers and colorful patterns as well as with
blushing cheeks and short-trimmed hair fetching
an offbeat tribal impact.

I Have Wings to Fly
The NSW-based visual artist with a good grounding in
graphic and textile design whose website opens with
Frida's clever statement: ”The only thing I know is that
I paint because I need to” declares her love from the
beginning but what I really commend is the way she
turned Frida, 'la gran ocultadora' or 'the great concealer'
as she referred to herself in her diary (one of my few
real treasure books, though), into a sort of supermodel
by cannily removing the inbuilt eerie restraint 
of Kahlo's masklike self-portraits.

”I wanted Frida to reflect a strong, wanderlust persona
(...) She's more outlandish, edgy like in fashion mags,
with pink and green eyeshadow and lots of cheek-defining 
rouge. Her hair is cropped, cool and up to date. 
Frida on a catwalk?” Gale smartly declared introducing her
 riveting collages on paper and canvas painstakingly 
revealing the bold strokes and the accurate hand cut 
stencil techniques she utilizes.

Nomade De Luxe
Yesterday was the inaugural day of her latest exhibition
called ”Emma Gale - Crazy Sexy Cool” at Anthea Polson's
art gallery, one of Australia's largest commercial art galleries
promoting the best emerging and established contemporary
artists, which is astonishingly situated in the dramatic
beachfront location of Mariner's Cove, close to legendary
Surfers Paradise. ”Pies, para que los quiero si tengo alas
pa volar” or ”Feet, why I need them if I have wings to fly”  
Frida wrote in her page-turning diary in 1953 just before
the amputation of her right leg affected by gangrene 
and IMHO Emma has wings to fly, too.

Crazy Beautiful
all images © by Emma Gale via antheapolson a r t

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