October 18, 2021

Lucky Life

Arts Fanatics

Photographer brings Frida Kahlo to lifestyle in Wheaton exhibition

4 min read

Miguel Morna Freitas generally focuses his digital camera on movement: ballet dancers leaping midflight, gymnasts soaring by way of the air.

But for his images exhibition, “a aspiration arrive correct,” Freitas wished his subjects nevertheless, their gaze stoic and unblinking.

His placing portraits exhibit young women of all ages of Mexican heritage, their hair braided and crowned with bouquets in comprehensive bloom.

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

“There are so lots of matters you can aim on from her work,” Freitas said. “I didn’t want to emphasis on the politics. I wished to rejoice shade, lifestyle, all the hardships she went by. But she still made astounding function.”

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

The “Homage” collection has turned the chamber’s office walls into a gallery of operates by college students and workers from the college, Jade Nava, a Mexican-born artist from Chicago’s Pilsen community, Aurora artist Josue Paiz and other contributors.

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A reception will figure out the artists Friday night, an occasion that also ties in with the past “Frida Friday,” a pageant which is brought massive crowds to the downtown.

Freitas’ images fills a room painted the cobalt blue shade of Kahlo’s Casa Azul, her household in Coyoacán, outside Mexico City, until finally she died in 1954.

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



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Designs from Maria Bonita Modeling — Bianca Castrejon, Bianca Cahue and Anais Salinas — pose for photographer Miguel Morna Freitas.&#13
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“The designs were just beautiful,” Freitas mentioned. “They ended up so superb to do the job with.”

Freitas took it upon himself to pay out tribute to Kahlo after attending a chamber lunch with Diana Martinez, the director of the McAninch Arts Center at the College or university of DuPage and the visionary powering the school’s “Frida Kahlo: Timeless” exhibition.

“When I commit to one thing, I go 110%,” Freitas said.

That dedication proved infectious.

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

Lulú Hertenstein, a local community engagement specialist for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, helped him line up the locations for the photograph shoot.

Hertenstein also linked him with Carolina Ocampo, founder and director of Maria Bonita Modeling Agency in Aurora, and finally his a few topics.

Colores Mexicanos, a retail outlet in Chicago, provided the wardrobe: rebozos, or the kind of shawls that Kahlo would drape all around her shoulders in the fashion of Tehuanas, ladies from a matriarchal culture in Mexico.

“It is all reliable handmade in Mexico, exceptional items that they promote right here in Chicago in help of the artisans in Mexico,” Freitas said.

The remaining contact? Elaborate floral headpieces arranged by Andrew’s Yard, a florist in downtown Wheaton.

“7 chamber users arrived collectively for one particular venture,” said Vickie Austin, president and CEO of the small business group. “I’ve been a member 20 decades, virtually 20 years, and I’ve under no circumstances noticed just about anything where that momentum expanded not only to the chamber users but over and above.”

The momentum culminated with a 7-hour shoot at the Danada and St. James forest preserves. Freitas shot around 600 visuals that hot working day in June.

“It was a joyous day … and a single I will never forget just simply because of the spirit,” he claimed. “Everyone required to be there.”

He chose 15 out of the treasure trove of photographs for his exhibition, a turning issue in a second job.

A indigenous of the Portuguese island of Madeira, Freitas still left a company occupation in application sales to go after his passion for pictures complete-time about 4 yrs in the past.

He now operates his possess business enterprise with a portfolio of fantastic artwork, dance and relatives photography. The father of a professional dancer, Freitas specializes in audition photographs.

“It really is in my heart. I actually experience it. I could not imagine heading any other way,” Freitas said.

Going to loved ones in Portugal, he’ll be a part of the reception by means of Zoom.

But right before he remaining, virtually a month immediately after his portraits went on show in Wheaton, Freitas’ voice was still loaded with emotion. His eyes were nonetheless filled with tears at the thought of his own in-human being exhibit.

“This is a milestone,” he explained. “This is unbelievable.”

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

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