Childhood polio, rumored spina bifida, a bus accident, constant pain and, later, the amputation of her leg shaped the life of Frida Kahlo. Her life permanently marred with beauty and pain.
Her struggles were the subject of many of her works of art. Her isolation because of her surgeries and incapacitation led to 55 self portraits (and comprise of more than one third of her entire collection).
Her constant pain, and ability to create beauty, birthed a beautification of her prosthetics and casts using them as canvases for her art.
From a disabilities perspective, Frida Kahlo had multiple obstacles to overcome; a birth defect, a disability from a contracted disease, a debilitating accident, an amputation and constant pain shaped her life. She created objects of art that showcased her pain, love and all of her strengths and faults intertwined. Her art catapults her, and her audience, out of reality and into the fantastic world of a magical realist; a world where prosthetics announce themselves with jingle bells and casts are a thing of beauty meant to be noticed, remarked upon and revered. This is not the world of the disenfranchised -- this is the world of a goddess whose entire being is a work of art. Her work explores the medical interventions that shaped her life weaving the horrific things her body endured into the strength she found within herself and gained from others.
I claim no ownership of the pieces reference in this article. If you are interested in learning more, I suggest you read this Guardian article about the exhibit that showcases Ishiuchi Miyako's photos on display at the Michael Hoppen Gallery. There are several websites dedicated to the exploration of Frida Kahlo's work. I drew, extensively, from information and works on FridaKahlo.org and The Frida Kahlo Foundation in this piece.
The New York Times attests Frida Kahlo's work is experiencing a mini-resurgence because of numerous shows happening this spring. An essay published in the New York Times on May 10 titled Frida Kahlo is Having a Moment closes with the following,
I like that. I think we need more people who celebrate the physical things that make them different.
If you're interested in empowering the disenfranchised, I suggest you read more of my articles on those who are considered to live at the fringes of life.
Discussing Designing for the Fringe on the 3D LILA Podcast.
Designing for the Fringe: Making dysphagia-safe carrots at home.
The presentation and my notes from my portion of the presentation at South by Southwest (SXSW). My perspective was mostly focused on the utilitarian purpose fo 3D printed food -- particularly for those with Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia).
Dysphagia is the medical term for the symptom of difficulty in swallowing. Dysphagia brings a major life change. Advancements in the word of 3D printing open the door for more people to enjoy nutritious, fresh food.
A few notes about my submission to the Panel Picker for the 2016 SXSW Interactive festival.
A tiny home could make it easier for my mom to age near us (or for us to live near her).
The US transportation system falls short for the elderly. Understanding why can make it better.
The NEA focuses an entire issue on the arts and accessibility to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. *Swoon*
Stephanie Thomas is cur8able, curating clothing and lifestyle products that are accessible /smart/ stylish for people with disabilities.
A video game, Forget-Me-Knot, helps people understand what it is like to have Alzheimer's.
Headphones help those who are blind use the ATM. Watch and learn.
BrainDance is a collaborative project bringing together dance choreographers, neuroscientists, physicians, philosophers and people with Parkinson's disease to explore movement.
Despite multiple setbacks, Frida Kahlo did not live in the world of the disenfranchised. She lived as a goddess whose entire being is a work of art.
The dying process is messy. It’s hard on everyone. It’s confusing. It’s painful. It’s the beginning of your grief. Talking about it early will help the survivors cope.
The story of one shoe that expands to 5 sizes and last for five years.
Surfing the web, and this website, with a screen reader.
How the blind watch movies, TV and play video games.
Emily McDowell made empathy cards to say all the things that are difficult to say.
As your parents and loved ones grow older you start to notice subtle differences in the way they live their lives. These modifications generally come after something has happened.
Crisis Mappers Network, a large, active, international community of experts, practitioners, policymakers, technologists, researchers, journalists, scholars, hackers and skilled volunteers who are using technology, crowd-sourcing and crisis mapping to answer our humanitarian needs.
Through telepresence and a Segway-like robot, Beam helps those with disabilities see the world.
Can using 3D printing solve animal protection issues?
A wearable device that allows you to send messages with simple gestures.
The get-to-know-you card game for people you've known your whole life.
Personal experience helped a Boy Scout create a wearable to prevent Alzheimer's patients from wandering.
A 12-year-old makes a braille printer with Legos. In other unrelated news, I waste a lot of time watching TV.
Banana fibers solve a problem for 50% of the developing world.
Peter and Peregrine are advocating for children and engineers to work together to create solutions.
Lisa Russell speaking about creating empowering film narratives. No more sad documentaries!
Neil Brandvold speaking on conflict journalism and what it's like to be a witness to culture changing moments.