Frida Kahlo portrait chair

March 1, 2009

Woodwork and photo Rende Zoutewelle, painting,  by me

Making this chair was our first official commission and we got burned on it.

A smooth talking entrepreneur had been to Mexico where he saw so-called, ‘Portrait Chairs’.  They were big in the American Southwest at the time and he thought he would begin a trend here in Holland. Via a mutual acquaintance, he found his way to us and we made two chairs for him- a Frida Kahlo one and one portraying Pancho Villa.  Eventually we were paid for Pancho, who was also featured in the European version of ‘Elle’ ,(with no mention of the makers, by the way), but the guy skipped town and left us sitting with Frida.

We have entered her in different exhibitions and had her in our show window for years.  Cars used to screech to a halt and back up for another look as they passed by, because she was so life like. A friend in the US was serious about buying her, but the shipping proved to be impossible.  I thought she would sell for sure when the movie about Frida Kahlo’s life came out, but the timing ust didn’t seem to be right.

I feel that she will eventually find the right home, but meanwhile we like having her around.

Incidentally, despite the fact that  we were never paid for this chair, we were paid for Pancho Villa, and it was this commission that launched Rende’s wordworking business and our eventual financial independence.

3 Responses to “Frida Kahlo portrait chair”

  1. madsilence Says:

    Life is amazing, is it not? An unplanned & unexpected series of events, “a smooth talking entrepreneur” finds his way to us via a mutual acquaintance, with a failed commission that ultimately launches a new & successful business.
    Wow! Your effort was repaid ten-fold.

  2. szoutewelle Says:

    I really like that way of looking at it and of course you are right!

  3. I saw a dress in Soho a few days ago which was made out of a pattern of Frida Kahlo’s paintings. I wish I’d taken a photo of it

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