Together, over 400 of us created 1,644 Fridas in 15 countries on five continents. We created something large and magical where nothing existed before, and I’m grateful for all you did to make this happen.
The best way to sum up this project is to look at the reasons I gave for starting it.
1) Frida was an amazing artist who led an inspiring life.
Many of you shared stories about how you connected with Frida Kahlo because of her ethnicity, nationality, physical ability, sexaulity, gender, and other personal identifiers. All of these things are reflected in her art as well.
Several people told me that our project caused them to learn more about the depth of Frida Kahlo’s art and her story. That’s a win for sure.
2) To encourage everyone of all ages and abilities to create art.
We range in age from 4-98. Some of you are truly amazing artists. Some of you picked up a brush for the first time since grade school. All of this is important. I love the idea of so many people experiencing what it’s like to create art because of this project.
3) To bring art into public spaces.
Hats off to the 22 female street artists who created an enormous painted wall in São Paulo. D.C. looked great. I know Lawrence, KS went wild, and it sounds like the Arlington, MA event was well attended. Atlanta had a great crew. Some of you were in less Frida-dense locations, but no matter where you were for the Night of 1,000 Fridas, someone saw your art and had to stop and think about it. Public art is fantastic. It’s disruptive and challenging.
4) To create community.
I’ve made some great connections through this project, and I know some of you have too. However, when I think about this project’s artistic community, I’m particularly thinking of the children and teenagers who contributed work. They feel connected to you “real artists” through this.
Also, seeing people gather in different spots around D.C. all celebrating Frida Kahlo made me immensely happy.
5) To see if we can.
We crushed it. I know some of you didn’t hit your pledge, but I think an equal number of people contributed without signing up. I heard several stories of people showing up to events with art in hand wanting to be part of the festivities.
6) 1,000 public images of a bisexual Latina communist revolutionary could do the world some good right now.
One thing I continually come back to with my own work is that if I don’t like the current world reality, I need to stop complaining and create my own. I need to find some like-minded weirdos and create strange art. I think we did this, at least for one night. There’s still a lot of work for us all to do!
The best way to see pictures from Night of 1,000 Fridas is through search #1KFridas on social media. Instagram is particularly good here. I do not have the time or expertise to catalogue all that happened.
We got a lot of press for this! You can see it here. If you know of something not listed, let me know.
My book “Frida Sex Dreams and Other Unnerving Disruptions” is out. I have a novel coming out about the theft of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” later this year.
Some of you have asked about “next year.” Sounds exhausting, but we’ll see.
“Why didn’t you…”
My biggest fear with this project is that someone doesn’t feel appreciated because I didn’t reply to an email or respond to them on social media.
Also, while D.C. artists are eligible for cash awards, most of you won’t win which makes me sad.
If you are feeling slighted in anyway, I apologize. I did my best to write a personal response to everyone who signed up and to plug your various projects. This got more difficult toward the end. Please know that your contribution was appreciated by me and by others affected by Night of 1,000 Fridas. Right now, I’m working to find my way out of this project and move on to the next.
It’s been fantastic, but it’s time for me to move on.