A Few Small Nips by Frida Kahlo. Medium: Paint, Year: 1935
Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists. I admire her not only for her work but also as a person. She is an inspiration to me because she was a groundbreaking female artist. She did not care what people thought of her, she was a free and undeniably herself in the early 20th century which is a period where women were more conservative. She had a deep love for her life even though most of her life was filled with pain. This painting is one of my favorites of hers. Frida had undergone many surgeries, heartbreaks at the hand of her Husband, and even multiple miscarriages. She created this painting based on a news article where a boyfriend had murdered his girlfriend by stabbing her multiple times. He said “It was only a few small nips”. I think this painting is a reflection how Frida might’ve felt about her own body and also she felt about the relationship she had with Diego. I love the mix between gore and beauty.
Music Pink and Blue No. 2 by Georgia O’Keefe. Medium: Oil paint, Year: 1918
I respect and admire Georgia O’Keefe not only as an artist but as a person. I think it’s important to remember it is important to remain humble and a good person no matter how famous you are. She was always a lovely person till the end. She always did what was right for her. She moved out into the dessert all by herself because that’s what her heart wanted. I want to be brave in life and with my art just as she was. Music Pink and Blue No.2 is my favorite painting by her. It is soft, sensual, and simple yet intriguing. It also has my favorite colors (pink, purple, and turquoise). I believe it is a painting of the vagina. I think it was very clever of her to paint this especially in the year 1918. She also exhibited the female form in a poetic way that was not pornographic.
Famous Negro Athlete by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Medium: Oil-stick on Paper, Year: 1981
Jean-Michel was a genius. He was determined to become a famous artist, he had drive and talent. He went from sleeping in a box to being a millionaire in a matter of years, which also led to his downfall. I’m proud of him because he made a prominent name for African American artists, he will always be an inspiration to me because of that. This is one my favorite works by Jean-Micheal Basquiat. I find it clever and even a little silly. I love the intricacy of his works. However, I also love his simplicity. He simply draws four misshapen heads of four “famous negro athletes”. This is funny to me because it can represent how media and the public can see black people as looking the same. I also appreciate they fact that they look somewhat menacing, which can represent the way the public can see black men as menacing. I also think it’s interesting that Jean-Michel preferred to write “Negro” instead of black which is the old way African Americans used to be referred as.
Judith by Kehinde Wiley, Medium: Oil paint, Year: 2012
Kehinde Wiley is a modern master. He remasters old Renaissance paintings of queens, kings, lordships, etc. and puts brown bodies in their places. The people that pose for him are everyday people he meets on the streets of Brooklyn, Harlem, and the Bronx. He’s currently going on a world series. His works on the people of Jamaica are another favorite of mine. This painting particularly speaks to me because it’s poetic. The background is extremely lavish, the dress this women wears is meant for a queen, her jewelry is gorgeous, and I have hoops just like those. She looks she could be my friend or my cousin. By recreating this image the power goes into the hands of a black women. The fact that she is cutting the head off of a white women simply means that she is ridding herself of European beauty standards placed upon her for hundreds of years.
Would-Be Martyr and 72 Virgins by David LaChapelle, Medium: Chromogenic Print, Year: 2008
David LaChapelle is a photographer that never fails to inspire me. His photos are always elaborate, colorful, and have a story to tell. He inspires my own photography. I wish to fully carry out my fantasies just as LaChapelle does. I want to shoot celebrities surrounded by vibrant colors. This image resonates with me for many reasons. The dolls are so well placed. This picture was very careful crafted and thought about. The dolls are dressed beautifully, I want their outfits. The man looks exactly like a ken doll. I love how the man, even though he’s huge compared to the dolls, is so weak. The women have all the power and about to destroy him. I think maybe he was an abusive husband or a womanizer. I love the story it tells.