“Paint the best wall mural you’ve ever painted…” This was my brief from Andrew and Sue at Santa Fe Restaurant in Subiaco, Perth. After 8 days of painting and pushing myself to the max, I managed to produce the best mural I’ve painted to date… but not without some hiccups along the way which you can hear more about in this vlog! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIOcl…
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who had a famously tragic life – from having Polio as a child, to being impaled by a tram in an accident when she was 18, which led to multiple spinal operations. She is one of my favourite artists and when Sue and Andrew asked me to paint the inside of iconic Santa Fe restaurant, I jumped at the chance to paint a tribute to Frida and her relationship with her on-and-off-again husband, Diego Rivera whom she affectionately called her “toad-frog”.
Apart from being a famous muralist, Diego was a well known womaniser and their relationship was famously tumultuous; a thrilling story of adultery, bisexuality and general disfunction. They divorced in 1939 and then remarried again the next year.
The structure of the mural is loosely based on one of my favourite paintings of hers, Las Dos Fridas (The Two Fridas) which shows two “Fridas” sitting side by side, with exposed hearts linked together with blood vessels. She painted it shortly after her divorce from Diego in 1939 and it records her emotions surrounding the crisis.
In Santa Fe, Frida is in the main room, with her beloved, ‘toad-frog’, Diego, in the next room. Though they aren’t looking directly at each other, they’re linked by their hearts which are each looking for the other. It’s both a tribute to their own relationship, but also more generally, a comment about the bonds of love and relationships.
Thank you to:
Andrew and Sue from Santa Fe Perth, Olivia for her awesome filming and painting, Mitch and Matt for being my most excellent minions and photographers!