In Jan Pitcher's beautifully rendered painting, seen above on the left, the shadow is removed, bringing Frida into the light, revealing her strong face and thoughtful eyes. Looking at these two images side by side, it symbolizes for me a shift from the Frida who was overshadowed by Diego's fame to the Frida who came into her own as a person and artist, ultimately eclipsing her husband's stature as an artist. I don't know if this was Jan's intention when she created the painting, but her statement below reveals a similar idea.
Jan was commissioned to create this painting of Frida by Debra Peterson. Both Jan and Debra were kind enough to provide a statement about Frida and this creative endeavor.
Jan Pitcher painted a portrait of Frida, which I asked her to create in sepia. Frida's image came from a postcard that was sent to me many years ago. After seeing the film in which Selma Hayek was cast as Frida, I was so inspired by Frida! The strength and conviction it took for her to recover and walk --when doctors told her she would never walk again -- just awe inspiring! Her art healed her-Frida was literally unstoppable!
The Frida portrait reminds me that my own obstacles in life are nothing in comparison. I am inspired by Frida Kahlo every day. Her portrait is one of my prized possessions, and is even more special because my friend--- the amazing artist, Jan Pitcher, of Los Gatos, created it for me.
Before I made the Frida painting, I’d been a long-time admirer of Frida Kahlo, with a fascination and deep respect for her life-story and the person and artist she was. I’m most inspired and intrigued by her dozens and dozens of self-portraits, each sublime and earthy, searingly honest autobiographies in paint.
After making my Frida painting, I gained a whole new appreciation for artists who can successfully, repeatedly, and so very artfully, paint a self-portrait. I learned that I am not a member of their ranks.
Much of what I know about Frida comes from a long-ago excursion to Mexico, where I learned that her husband’s persona and art was what was revered back in the day, not so much Frida's. So, I love the poetic justice of something I heard many years ago, that since her death, Frida has stepped forward out of Diego's formidable shadow and now her self-portraits sell for something like $13,000,000 each.