May 22, 2022

Abstact Arts

Spearheading Arts Goodness

Photographer provides Frida Kahlo to life in Wheaton exhibition

4 min read

Miguel Morna Freitas usually focuses his digital camera on movement: ballet dancers leaping midflight, gymnasts soaring through the air.

But for his pictures exhibition, “a aspiration arrive real,” Freitas required his subjects still, their gaze stoic and unblinking.

His hanging portraits display younger females of Mexican heritage, their hair braided and topped with flowers in total bloom.

By now, you may well have guessed they are channeling the splendor of artist Frida Kahlo.

“There are so quite a few matters you can aim on from her operate,” Freitas stated. “I failed to want to concentration on the politics. I wanted to rejoice colour, lifestyle, all the hardships she went by way of. But she still created astounding work.”

Freitas shot the Frida-inspired portraits for “Homage to Frida,” an artwork show sponsored by the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce to coincide with the summerlong exhibition of Kahlo’s paintings at the School of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.

The “Homage” selection has turned the chamber’s business office walls into a gallery of works by pupils and employees from the university, Jade Nava, a Mexican-born artist from Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, Aurora artist Josue Paiz and other contributors.

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A reception will acknowledge the artists Friday night, an event that also ties in with the final “Frida Friday,” a festival that’s introduced significant crowds to the downtown.

Freitas’ pictures fills a room painted the cobalt blue shade of Kahlo’s Casa Azul, her residence in Coyoacán, outside the house Mexico Town, until finally she died in 1954.

His photos capture 3 women of all ages — Bianca Castrejon, Bianca Cahue and Anais Salinas — who represented Kahlo down to her unibrow and bold purple lip.

“The types have been just exquisite,” Freitas said. “They have been so fantastic to get the job done with.”

Freitas took it upon himself to shell out tribute to Kahlo after attending a chamber lunch with Diana Martinez, the director of the McAninch Arts Middle at the University of DuPage and the visionary at the rear of the school’s “Frida Kahlo: Timeless” exhibition.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

“After I dedicate to something, I go 110%,” Freitas reported.

That motivation proved infectious.

A host of volunteer collaborators joined Freitas in bringing his vision — and Kahlo — to lifestyle.

Lulú Hertenstein, a neighborhood engagement specialist for the Forest Protect District of DuPage County, assisted him line up the areas for the photograph shoot.

Hertenstein also connected him with Carolina Ocampo, founder and director of Maria Bonita Modeling Company in Aurora, and ultimately his a few topics.

Colores Mexicanos, a keep in Chicago, furnished the wardrobe: rebozos, or the form of shawls that Kahlo would drape about her shoulders in the design and style of Tehuanas, gals from a matriarchal culture in Mexico.

“It’s all authentic handmade in Mexico, exclusive items that they offer here in Chicago in assistance of the artisans in Mexico,” Freitas reported.

The last touch? Elaborate floral headpieces organized by Andrew’s Yard, a florist in downtown Wheaton.

“7 chamber customers arrived jointly for just one project,” explained Vickie Austin, president and CEO of the company group. “I’ve been a member 20 yrs, pretty much 20 yrs, and I have in no way seen something in which that momentum expanded not only to the chamber users but over and above.”

The momentum culminated with a seven-hour shoot at the Danada and St. James forest preserves. Freitas shot more than 600 pictures that sizzling day in June.

“It was a joyous working day … and just one I will by no means ignore just mainly because of the spirit,” he explained. “Absolutely everyone needed to be there.”

He chose 15 out of the treasure trove of pictures for his exhibition, a turning place in a second career.

A indigenous of the Portuguese island of Madeira, Freitas still left a company task in software income to pursue his enthusiasm for photography entire-time about four decades ago.

He now operates his have small business with a portfolio of good artwork, dance and household pictures. The father of a specialist dancer, Freitas specializes in audition shots.

“It really is in my heart. I seriously feel it. I could not think about likely any other course,” Freitas explained.

Browsing family members in Portugal, he’ll be part of the reception by means of Zoom.

But ahead of he still left, pretty much a thirty day period following his portraits went on display in Wheaton, Freitas’ voice was even now loaded with emotion. His eyes ended up nevertheless loaded with tears at the imagined of his possess in-individual exhibit.

“This is a milestone,” he said. “This is outstanding.”

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

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