Popular Mexican self-portrait artist, Frida Kahlo was a unique and hydra-purpose individual. She represents so many things to many people. Frida Khalo is a renowned artist, a popular feminist, a respected politician and, of course, a fighter by all standards. Today, she’s considered to be one of the greatest Mexican artists of all time.
During her lifetime, Frida Kahlo had 143 official paintings with 55 out of this being self-portraits. Many of Kahlo self-portraits expressed a number of emotions ranging from loneliness, heartbreak, heartache, resilience, anguish, self-doubt, passion and love.
From her mostly fragile health to tumultuous marriage experience, Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits were rich in emotion and expressive details. These rich details have been leverage on by many artists in the past and, recently, turn out again as the inspiration behind FridaMoji, a set of 160 emoji that was recently launched on the App Store in March, 2017.
The creator and designer of FridaMoji, Sam Cantor, the Los Angeles-based gallerist is deeply fascinated with the rich and varied number of emotions lavishly displayed in Kahlo’s self-portraits.
Cantor started this project since last year with his first Kahlo-portraits-inspired emoji released in the summer. Cantor got his motivations from the responses and the interests generated by the responses to his enquiry on the work.
His strategy was simple, he posted several of his artists’ inspired emoji as aksed: “If I were to make emoji of artists, who would you want to see?” From the experiment, he noticed that Frida Kahlo emojis were the most successful on the list.
The experimentation were greeted by likes and amazing comments plus emails from world-leading museums, artist foundations, and emoji companies from the Asian countries asking for opportunities for partnerships on Frida Kahlo’s works. So, Cantor reached out to Frida Kahlo’s corporation, the team in charge of Frida Kahlo’s brand name and works and the journey to the creation of Kahlo’s emoji began.
Quickly, Cantor travelled to Mexico where he had a real-life feel of the paintings and the powerful stories behind them. The depth and wealth of the works are massive and the team, Cantor and Beatriz Alvarado, from Frida Kahlo Corporation, soon realised the magnitude of the works ahead of them.
How would you they community the complex and rich emotions of such an enigma as Kahlo with emoji without missing a great part of the details?
The paintings to work on were many and the emotions intended to be communicated with the use of emoji are countless. From then on, he became lost in Kahlo’s works and soon came up with 400 emoji that expressed Frida’s life, stories, political struggles and scholarship written about her. From these 400, only 160 made the cuts as screened by Alvarado.
The next job is getting these into formats that will be easy to access by people all around. Eventually, by March 2017, FridaMoji scaled through and became available on Apple Store.
Today, there are varieties of expressive emoji-inspired by Kahlo’s works available for use. From her 1940’s Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird to one where she was decked by monkeys and the self-portraits where she was dressed as a man, all expressing deep and personal experiences, Kahlo’s fans can have a feel of her like never before.
The single most important part of this work is that, the team has managed to bring Frida Kahlo’s works alive to attract and engage the new generation in a way that is creative and fascinating as she would have wished. Admirably, the team believes that this will help to further promote her life, paintings and the legacy she left behind.