Dreaming of Frida

   by Sara Ybarra Lopez and Ruby for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: The Dream

Inspiration Artist: Frida Kahlo

It was winter. I was in an artistic slump. I ordered the Mystery Build kit on a whim thinking that an unusual project might spark some artistic momentum. The kit sat on the floor in the corner for a long time. It was even dusty when I picked it back up. I picked it up because my daughter Ruby had unexpectedly come to stay for a while. She’s the one with the dreadlocks in the process photos. She’d been away for a long time in Costa Rica. We could use a project and here it was—the Mystery Build kit! First, we perused my art books. Frida Kahlo caught our interest and then her painting “The Dream”. Yes, we could do something with this. Ultimately we used everything in the kit except the rope and the molding material. We even used pieces of the box. Ruby formed the skeleton from the oil clay and painted it. I formed the dynamite sticks by rolling newsprint strips. We glue them with pieces of wire to the skeleton and painted again. For the flower bouquet and the skeleton’s pillows, I used the Sculpey. An artist friend, who happened to visit for a weekend, painted the flowers. Ruby formed Frida with Sculpey and painted it. I constructed the bed from the thin wood planks, foam, and wire and covered it with canvas and paint. I also made the pillows with canvas, glue, foam, and paint. Ruby glued Frida to the bed, added a little foam and covered it with canvas, afterwards painting the yellow blanket and vines. I, meanwhile, painted the cloudy sky background on the canvas board (though we didn’t end up using it in the entry photo) and the plywood. We had to do some real thinking to figure out how to float the bed, like in Frida’s painting, and hold up a heavy skeleton on a canopy—all with four small dowels and hot glue. My husband Mark joined the team then. He cut the hardwood and drilled holes for the dowels to go in. I glued that wood onto the board and painted it to match the sky. We “floated” the bed with another piece of hardwood and sky-paint. The dowels then, only had to hol!
d up the canopy. I really appreciate having this project and building this memory with my daughter and this representation from Frida Kahlo’s great painting is truly captivating me.