Portrait of Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe
Tucson: Sunday , January 23, 2011 @ 3p.m.
a brief description
“I feel there is something unexplored about woman that only a woman can explore.”
“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”
Harry Clark:“I had a tremendous time dipping into the lives and art of Georgia O’ Keeffe (OK) and Frida Kahlo (FK). Like two wary prize fighters, they’d circle one another for a long time before revealing themselves. So what would they share at the beginning? Early childhood memories: FK’s imaginary friend; OK’s Wisconsin dollhouse. Recipes: OK’s applesauce; FK’s pumpkin flower quesadilla. Then their love of country and place, and on to their men and muses—Diego Rivera and Alfred Stieglitz. And finally, they’d get rip-roaring drunk on pulche and tequila shots and reveal the rest.”
Little links the works of O’Keeffe and Kahlo on an aesthetic level, though both began working in the first quarter of the 20th century and had at least a passing acquaintance. And, of course, both were painting at a time women had to fight to be taken seriously.
That both were married to famous artists – O’Keeffe to pioneering modernist photographer Alfred Stieglitz, Kahlo to Mexican muralist Diego Rivera – was a double-edged sword; it gave them entree into the era’s art world, but meant they often stood in their spouses’ shadows.
Despite their disparate artistic concerns, both artists created almost stubbornly personal work, yet it is art that speaks to a huge audience. Perhaps adverse circumstances forced them to stick to their unique visions – to be dismissed as mere followers would have been unbearable, and how else could they have kept making art without such single-minded purpose?
In 1937 Frida Kahlo traveled to New York City for her first one-person exhibition of her paintings, held at the Julien Levy Gallery, confident in her new status as celebrated artist. As always, her exotic Zapotec clothing and heavy jewelry created a buzz in the press. Her show was a great success. Time magazine noted that “the flutter of the week in Manhattan was caused by the first exhibition of paintings by famed muralist Diego Rivera’s…wife, Frida Kahlo.” Frida Kahlo’s hand, bedecked with huge rings, adorned a cover of Vogue.
Notables such as artist Georgia O’Keeffe attended the gallery exhibit as did playwright and former editor of the fashion magazine Vanity Fair Claire Boothe Luce.
Georgia O’Keeffe is the best known and most successful American woman painter; her larger-than-life, almost abstract paintings of flowers are world famous. But it was not only as an artist that she drew attention to herself. Her tremendous personal magnetism fascinated people, for she was “exceptionally beautiful and spontaneous, combined with spiritual and emotional clarity and a wonderful intensity with which she enjoyed every moment of her life to the full.” (Stieglitz). She was quick-witted and could be staggeringly direct. For the younger generation she was the epitome of an independent, creative woman who single-mindedly went her own way, never willing to make compromises which might hinder her in her painting.
Still Life offers an inside look at their lives, loves and personal journeys that promisses to inspire.
About the music
Music of the Americas for guitar and cello will accompany the script and visual montage.
BETH GRANT raised in the South, Beth Grant moved frequently as a child and enjoys claiming several towns and cities in Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina as home. She was a Page in the North Carolina Senate, attended the North Carolina Governor’s School for Gifted and Talented students, and received a governor’s appointment at the age of nineteen.
Grant was president of the East Carolina University College Democrats for two years, receiving the Outstanding College Democrat Award from then Senator Edmund Muskie. She is a graduate of ECU with a BFA in Acting and Directing.
One of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces, she has starred in over seventy feature films including this year’s Best Picture Academy Award nominated Little Miss Sunshine (2006). She delighted in creating the character you love to hate, Pageant Official Jenkins, making Grant the happy recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble Cast In A Feature Film.
Other popular studio pictures include Rock Star (2001), The Rookie (2002/I), Matchstick Men (2003), Rain Man (1988), City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold (1994), To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995), and A Time to Kill (1996) and Speed (1994/I).
Grant has appeared in over thirty plays from Los Angeles to New York including two productions at The Ahmanson, William Inge’s “Picnic” (with Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Tennessee Williams’ “Summer and Smoke” (with Christopher Reeve) under the direction of Circle Rep’s Marshall W. Mason. She has created roles in the world premieres of “Holy Ghosts” by Romulus Linney, “On A Southern Journey” by Maya Angelou, “The Day Emily Married” by Horton Foote, “Sordid Lives” and “The Trials and Tribualtions Of A Trailer Trash Housewife” by Del Shores.
Grant is a recipient of The Los Angeles Drama Critics Award and The L.A. Stage Alliance Award and The Backstage West Garlan Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Del Shores’ the Trials And Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife.
On television, Grant was a favorite on the “Six Feet Under” (2001) episode, “The Rapture.” This season she married then cheated on Jason Lee on “My Name Is Earl” (2005). She has been a regular or recurred on many television shows including “Malcolm in the Middle” (2000), “King of the Hill” (1997), “Yes, Dear” (2000), “Everwood” (2002), “Delta” (1992), and “Wonderfalls” (2004).
She has guest-starred in hundreds of hit television series such as “Friends” (1994), “The X-Files” (1993), “Angel” (1999), and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2000). Grant starred in Tony Hillerman’s A Thief of Time (2004) (TV), produced by Robert Redford (PBS), The Image (1990) (TV) with Albert Finney (HBO), Switched at Birth (1991) (TV) and Fall from Grace (1990) (TV) (NBC).
Grant has produced documentaries, comedy reviews, and television; she has run a theatre company, raised money for schools and was a celebrity coordinator for Jimmy Carter’s first presidential campaign. But what she really loves to do is act.
Grant is a student of Milton Katselas at The Beverly Hills Playhouse. She is married to actor Michael Chieffo, they have one child, Mary Chieffo.
ZILAH MENDOZA has appeared in Living Out (Off Broadway at second Stage and at the Mark Taper forum), Breakfast Lunch and Dinner (Oregon Shakespeare Festival) , Black Butterfly (Taper Two), The Clean House (Yale Repertory Theater), Electricidad(Mark Taper Forum), and numerous other credits at Theaters in Los Angeles, New York and Regionally; recently featured on the Cover of American Theater magazine. Awards: Obie award for Best lead Actress in Living Out; also nominated for Ovation, Lucille Lortel and Outer critics Circle Awards as well as receiving several DramaLogue/ Back Stage West awards. TV/film; recurring roles on Reba, Mad TV and the King of Queens; guest starring roles on 24, Grey’s Anatomy, The Closer, Law and Order, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Nip/Tuck and many others. Teaching credits: Oregon Shakespeare Festival School Visit Program, Virginia Avenue Project, TeAda’s Fall/Summer workshop , Malawi Children’s Village (Africa) and most recently she is continually working in Native American communities throughout the United States and Canada with MAPP ( Mentor Artists Playwrights Project.)
The production is prepared and directed by Dan Guerrero.
DAN GUERRERO has enjoyed a lengthy career as a highly acclaimed independent producer of diverse programming for network and cable television including projects for NBC, HBO and numerous PBS music specials.
More recently, he has taken his talents to directing and staging non-broadcast international arts and culture events and plays at such prestigious venues as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New York’s historic Apollo Theatre directing Harry Clark’s Raisin’ Cane, and the Cité de la Musique in Paris, France.
Guerrero’s many live productions include the world premiere of Concierto para Mendez for the Los Angeles Opera; Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World at the Kennedy Center, a celebrity staged reading of the play In Darfur at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Raisin’ Cane at the Southwest Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia and Adelita: The Women of the Mexican Revolution for Linda Ronstadt’s Mexican Heritage Festival in San Jose, California.
He also produced Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano, an award-winning documentary on his late father, Chicano music icon Lalo Guerrero. The film aired nationally on PBS stations and has screened at national and international film festivals.