A Texas City, a Mob of Frida Kahlo Lookalikes, and the Quest for a Bizarre Guinness Record

The Dallas Museum of Art hopes to enter the Guinness Book of World Records with the largest gathering of people dressed as the Mexican artist.

Ruby Alford (L) and her mother Mary Rafferty (2nd from L) acknowledge the crowd's applause as they win first place in the Frida Kahlo lookalike contest at the In Croud November 2, 2002 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Courtesy of Phillippe Diederich/ Getty Images.
Ruby Alford (L) and her mother Mary Rafferty (2nd from L) acknowledge the crowd's applause as they win first place in the Frida Kahlo lookalike contest at the In Croud November 2, 2002 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Courtesy of Phillippe Diederich/ Getty Images.

One of art history’s most famous style icons could be the subject of a new Guinness world record. The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is attempting to hold the largest single gathering of people dressed as Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

The assembly will take place on July 6, during the museum’s Frida Fest event, which will celebrate Kahlo’s 110th birthday. According to the Dallas Star Telegram, there doesn’t appear to be a current record holder, so the title appears to be the museum’s for the taking.

The official rules of the Guinness Book of World Records specify that to qualify for the record, the event must be strictly a bring-your-own-costume affair. Luckily, Kahlo is a perennial Halloween costume favorite, so surely some folks will already have all of the essentials on hand: flower crown, shawl, below-the-knee dress, and the famous unibrow.

Nickolas Muray, Frida, Coyoacan (1938). This portrait was taken by Frida Kahlo's lover, Nickolas Murray. Courtesy of the Nickolas Muray Photo Archives.

Nickolas Muray, Frida, Coyoacan (1938). This portrait was taken by Frida Kahlo’s lover, Nickolas Murray. Courtesy of the Nickolas Muray Photo Archives.

Of course, Kahlo often wore men’s clothing, but Guinness has a very specific look in mind. The flowers, for instance, have to be artificial, and there must be at least three of them. The dress can’t have any slits, and the shawl must be red or pink. Beyoncé’s instantly recognizable 2014 Halloween getup, for instance, wouldn’t qualify her for participation, because she didn’t fully commit to the unibrow look, and was missing the shawl.

Frida Fest, which will take place between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., will feature a special menu of Mexican delicacies, and margaritas on tap at the museum cafe. According to the press release, Reina Rebelde, a Mexican-inspired cosmetics line, will “help you embrace the unibrow with complimentary Frida Kahlo–inspired looks.”

There will also be discount tickets to the see DMA exhibition “México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco and the Avant-Garde,” which closes July 16.

Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas (1939). Courtesy of the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City.

Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas (1939). Courtesy of the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City.

The show, which originated at the Grand Palais, Paris, showcases the work of the expected giants of Mexican Modernism, as well as lesser-known figures, including women artists such as Rosa Rolanda, Lola Álvarez Bravo, and Tina Modotti.

Over 200 works of painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, and film make up a sweeping national survey, documenting the country’s artistic renaissance during the first half of the 20th century. The show reflects the country’s diverse heritage with art, exploring indigenous identity and the communist movement, as well as European influence—like the American Impressionists, many Mexican artists, including Diego Rivera, spent time abroad in France.

Humberto Spíndola, The Two Fridas (2009/2015). Photo: Sarah Cascone.

Humberto Spíndola, The Two Fridas (2009/2015).
Photo: Sarah Cascone.

Among the show’s highlights is Kahlo’s famed painting The Two Fridas, which shows two versions of the artist: one dressed in traditional Mexican garb, the other in European attire. (Neither look would pass muster with Guinness, ironically, based on their clothing requirements.) Hand in hand, they are connected by their beating hearts. The painting belongs to the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City and rarely travels, meaning that this is a rare opportunity to see the iconic work in the US.

Frida lookalikes are asked to check in at 7:30 p.m. for the contest, which is scheduled for 8 p.m.


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