By Lana Nasser
The natural world expresses its beauty through color. Yielded from the earth, the colorful forces of foliage and flowers have inspired the works of musicians and artists for centuries.
Fruit, the consumable product of flowers*, exhibit striking colors found in the monumental works of artists like Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo.
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is renowned for her self-portraits, thematic works of pain and passion, and her use of bold, vibrant colors inspired by nature**. Kahlo’s signature look was highly symbolic of her love for and connection with her hometown of Coyoacan, on the outskirts of Mexico city. Her powerful eyebrows, embroidered dresses and braided hair adorned with flowers were all reflective of the artist’s admiration for Mexico’s rich culture and history. The flowers and foliage often seen in Kahlo’s self-portraits were picked from her garden in Casa Azul, where she spent most her life.
The Casa Azul, or Blue House, was the home that Kahlo shared with the amor of her amores, muralist Diego Rivera. There they collected Mexican art and antiques, transformed the garden and decorated with colors that reflected vibrancies of rich Mexican history and native plants surrounding them.
neutral7's creative director and founder, Albey Coronel, who's heritage is also directly linked to Mexico City, recently visited La Casa Azul. Touched by the love and tumultuous nature of Kahlo and Rivera’s relationship, Albey felt inclined to share the experience through a photography project and create an aesthetic with a nod to their shared heritage and stunning colors found in the area.
"When Home Magazine approached us to design a spread for the food issue, the first thing that came to mind was color, and lots of it. Food is diversity in every form you can think possible. It's adventurous and always evolving. The best form of bold color can be found in fruit and flowers, and once this idea was established the missing elements to connect the dots was Frida. At this point our spread began to take a natural creative course" - Albey
Ideas for neutral7’s recent Kahlo-inspired photoshoot also has a soundtrack of inspiration.
"I've always been inspired by an opposite side of creativity. The other side of the table. Music is a huge inspiration for me in visual design and vice versa. Sometimes the soundscapes may help create a visual interpretation of a scene, other times it's more direct. In this case, I was inspired by the album sleeve of Mexican singer and songwriter Caloncho's Fruta. Not a huge stretch here" - Albey
Drawing from Kahlo’s pallette, Caloncho also looked to the vibrancy of fruit as fuel for his summer-ready album, Fruta. The tracks evoke ideas of sandy beaches, tropical foliage and blooming flowers. Listen our Amor de Mis Amores playlist while you check out the full spread for the ultimate experience.