Designer Diane Borrero originally from Brooklyn, New York, is a motivated soul who enjoys the creative challenge of making something new, something unique. After years of travel and exploring her artistic passions, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and promptly began a career in the field of graphic arts. However, five years of toil in the commercial realm was enough to nudge her out on her own. “The creative Spirit cannot be homogenized,” she often says. “It cannot be trivialized, super-sized or down-sized.” Ms. Borrero finds that artists today must work double time, physically and spiritually, to maintain their integrity as artisans and guardians of the craft. Taught to sew by her mother, a professional seamstress, Diane ingeniously incorporates her sewing and graphic design skills and infuses them with the inspiration she picked up during her traveling days, most notably from Latin America. As a result, her clothing line is a fusion of boldness and color. Mixing unique patterns, shapes, and colors to create highly attractive and innovative fashions, Ms. Borrero’s creations release an imaginative spirit that refuses to be held captive by the competitive impulse. You can find some of her latest designs on-line at: www.fridafashions.com
Frida Artist Community
Diane Borrero's Frida-inspired works are featured on the new PBS video, The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo. To see Diane's work or to purchase the video, click in the links below!
Rebel with many cause
News and Entertainment
Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) The following long excerpt comes from Artists From Latin American Cultures.
"Known for her physical and emotional pain and suffering, passionately displayed on canvas in self-portraits, Frida lived a life that is increasingly of interest to the art world. Her works describe her tempestuous relationship and two marriages to the famous muralist Diego Rivera, as well as her ongoing malaise after being in a trolley-bus accident at the age of eighteen that crippled her for life. Kahlo is also recognized for her ties to the Communist Party and Mexico's indigenous culture, as well as for her elaborate dress and her flamboyant personality. Although she was not well known when she died in 1954, she has since achieved superstar status among art lovers and critics. Though she had only two solo shows during her lifetime her works are now exhibited around the world.
2 "One of six daughters, Kahlo was born in 1907 in Coyoacan, a residential area in southwestern Mexico City. Her birthplace, now the Museo Frida Kahlo, was also her studio and residence as an adult (Herrera, 3-9). Her mother was Mexican and her father, a jeweler and photographer, was a Hungarian jew. Kahlo shared her father's passion for books, photography, and nature (Herrera, 10, 18). She loved to dress as if going to a grand party, and her self-portraits depict this love of elaborate self-decoration (Herrera,112).
3 "Kahlo's 161-page diary, which she kept during the last ten years of here life, was published in 1995. It gives keen insight into many aspects of her life that affected her striking images. In these pages, she not only wrote her intimate thoughts, but also sketched ideas for paintings, using colored pencils, inks, crayons, and gouache . . . "
4 "Kahlo's diary details some of her thirty-five surgical operations and describes the plaster corsets she had to wear to keep her spine together. Her paintings depict these experiences. Other paintings and diary passages concern longings for her unfaithful mate, Diego Rivera. She once said, 'I suffered two grave accidents in my life, one in which a streetcar knocked me down.... The other accident is Diego' (Herrera, 107). In one painting, Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair (1940), she depicts herself in a man's baggy suit, perhaps Rivera's, with piles of her shorn hair at her feet. Cutting off the hair that Diego loved was her revenge for his infidelity with her sister Cristina.
5 "Despite the tumultuous nature of Kahlo's relationship with Rivera, he was, in many ways, Kahlo's soul mate. She could not tear herself away from him. She sometimes painted his face in the middle of her forehead, as if he were ever present in her mind. They shared many things, including politics, art, and even boredom with classical music (Herrera, 163). But Rivera was often cruel to Kahlo. He was both repeatedly unfaithful and often verbally unkind . . . "
6 "Perhaps three of Kahlo's most famous paintings are My Birth (1932), My Nurse and I (1937), and The Broken Column (1944). My Birth is a shocking image of a mother, her upper body and face covered with a sheet, giving birth to a baby/adult Frida. We wonders if the sheet-draped mother is dead and if the baby is dead as well (due to its lifeless depiction). Above the bed is a portrait of a grieving woman, perhaps the Virgin of Sorrows. The bed, Kahlo once said, is the bed in which she and her sister Cristina were born. Kahlo's connection to Mexico's Indian culture is illuminated in My Nurse and I. This painting shows Frida, again as a baby/adult, feeding from the breast of a dark Indian wet nurse. Because her mother became ill after the birth, this depiction not only captures something that actually happened but also metaphorically describes the heritage she loved being passed from one generation to another. The Broken Column is probably her most powerful image describing her physical pain. It was painted soon after one of her many surgeries when she had been given an "apparatus," as it was called, to wear. The open body, suggesting surgery, shows a broken and crumbling spine. Nails penetrate her body and tears roll down her face. Even the ground around her, dry and barren, is broken (Herrera, 76-77, 157, 219-20, 222).
7 "In a way, these paintings were a form of therapy for Kahlo. They helped her deal with her pain and reflected back to her a strong identity. In all her self-portraits, Kahlo paints herself as a complex woman, with heavy, dark eyebrows that join at the bridge of the nose and a faint mustache. Her long dark hair is also part of her signature. Although she painted fewer than 150 pictures in her short life, some critics claim that most of her work done before the mid-1930s is not as good as her late work, and paintings done in the last few years of her life are weak because she was so adversely effected by drugs and alcohol (Tully, 130). Her best works display fastidious attention to details and strong awareness of compositional elements.
8 "Although the French Surrealist and essayist Andre Breton, as well as many other, called Kahlo a Surrealist, she thought the term did not fit her. Hayden Herrera, Kahlo explained that her work "was not the product of a disillusioned European culture searching for an escape from the limits of logic by plumbing the subconscious." Rather, any fantasy portrayed in her works, she claimed, should be seen as part of her reality. Her paintings are intended to be accessible to others, as murals are. Few would now argue against the accessibility of Kahlo's art, for it is perhaps this aspect of her work that has made her so loved by millions" (Congdon and Kara Kelley Hallmark, 126-129).
Works cited and consulted:
Kristin C. Congdon and Kara Kelley Hallmark. Artists from Latin American Cultures, A Biographical Dictionary, Westport: Greenwood Press, 2002.
Hayden Herrera. Frida Kahlo, The Paintings, New York: Perennial, 2002
Desmond Rochfort. Mexican Muralists, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1998.
Judd Tully. "The Frida Cult." Art News vol. 93, no 4 (1994).