Beyond the Uniform

Catalyst Program, The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer/ © 2020 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Frida Kahlo. Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair. 1940 832

Oil on canvas, 15 3/4 x 11" (40 x 27.9 cm). Gift of Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. © 2023 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Security Officer, Eva Luisa Rodríguez: I’m Eva Rodríguez. I work for security here at MoMA for two years. I love Frida Kahlo, she's an inspiration. I myself am an artist and a feminist. And I respect her art and her feminism, and this has inspired me to write my spoken word.

Frida, you are feminism. Like a warrior in combat, being ambushed by gender and segregation.

Powerful dominating forces that only darkness manifested.

You battle for societal acceptance while the others strive for pure annihilation.

Is this not the world's first cold war? A history of ice ages that our world is still enduring.

Women like you have conquered this never-ending rivalry, igniting a fire to our morbidly taciturn existence, to defy what a woman is capable of in the art world.

A fire that challenges that dankest of forest rains, bursting into flames of vigor and emotions on canvas.

You exude a radical inferno of politics and stereotypes in your art that will never be extinguished.

Whether long hair, short hair, braids–you force feminism onto us like a tattooed name of a first lover.

The embrace of your suit screams desperation for entitlement of betrayal.

And the anguish in your piercing eyes stares down segregation and gender.

Your flame is ruthless and honorable.

Our victory of equality is owed to you, Frida. The warrior of feminism.

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