Self-Portrait with Black Necklace and Butterfly

Art Exhibit: Dia de los muertos / Frida Kahlo / Self-Portrait with Black Necklace and Butterfly

I have a new art piece on display in the Dia de Los Muertos exhibit through the Visual Art League of Lewisville. The task was to submit a piece of art directly inspired by a Mexican or Latin American painter. That is a tall order that I took seriously.

Frida Kahlo’s art piece below is titled Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird.

Title:  Self-Portrait with Black Necklace and Butterfly

Artist’s Statement:  Inspired by Frida Kahlo’s use of symbolism in her Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird I adapted her piece to reflect elements that have meaning to me. 

Self-Portrait with Black Necklace and Butterfly

I have never simultaneously loved and hated one of my art pieces.  It is a cringe-worthy train wreck off-set in an attractive black and gold frame.  Every element has a story.

Doc Martens:  My beloved first pair of Docs.  The most expensive purchase I made in high school.  At the time, I decided I’d get my money’s worth and wear them to my grave.  They have only recently been retired when I accidentally stepped on dog poop at a park in Arkansas.  Tore Bellis bravely cleaned them for me but the shoes are still downgraded. 

Necklace:  One of many from my ballroom dancing days of getting dolled up in fancy dresses and accessories.

Stuffed Llama:  Represents adventure, fun, happiness, the present and future – it is also Tore Bellis’s nickname.  He gave me the llama when I had a recent health scare.  The llama went to every doctor’s visit and hospital stay – where I nearly squeezed the fluff out of it when I was in agony. 

Dragonflies:  One is real and one is a fake.  The real one I picked up during a walk when I was recovering from my health scare.  I put it in a ziplock and when I was ready to use it for this project, I opened the bag and screamed.  Dead dragonflies have a putrid odor.  But the art must go on.  I glued it to my backdrop and the smell eventually went away…or I grew accustomed to it. 

Hydrangea leaves: I plucked a few leaves from my beloved hydrangea and glued them to a large cardboard.  I tested the background and discovered time and again I didn’t have enough leaves.  My hydrangea sacrificed most of her leaves for this project.  On the bright side, it’s the end of the growing season so it was a nice way to immortalize her. 

The piece is something to behold in person.

Self-Portrait with Black Necklace and Butterfly

Exhibit Dates: October 29 – November 26, 2022

Location: Lewisville Grand Theater / Lewisville, Texas

Join the Visual Art League! They let me in so they will welcome you too! Visit their website for more information.

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