Photo Gallery: Delia Brown Channels Frida Kahlo

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Known for her lively paintings and works on paper of ladies of leisure, Delia Brown wields a deft brush to present herself and her female pals in stylish settings. Mixing illustration with appropriation art, the talented Ms. Brown places her subjects in familiar situations from art history, print media, and film. She’s painted self-portraits à la Picasso and Gainsborough and captured her friends in the roles of distracted socialites. And, in her current series of works, Brown envisions herself and her mates as Frida Kahlo look-alikes lounging around gardens and fireplaces in a spirit of camaraderie.

“My work — in which I often appear — has often been criticized for its perceived narcissism,” Brown recently wrote. “In thinking about the historical persona of Frida Kahlo, I came to realize that the main thing I envied was the late artist’s complete indulgence in her own narcissistic preoccupations, and her refusal to contain her ego… On a spontaneous trip to Mexico City in 2009, I decided to dress up like Frida and go ‘guerrilla lounging’ (borrowing the homes of the wealthy to play house in) with friends. The idea of embodying a sacred cow — especially an ethnically and nationally specific one, not of my ‘own kind’ — gave me tingles of nervous excitement… Chasing our nerves with tequila, my girls and I began an exercise in masquerade and display that would become the series Mujeres y Camaradas (Women and Comrades), which we went on to continue in private homes and the streets of Los Angeles.”

Playful in the way it pastiches both Kahlo’s self-portraits and Brown previous work, the series celebrates strong women taking charge of their own destinies.

Delia Brown: Mujeres y Camaradas is on view at D’Amelio Terras in New York through October 23.

Click through below for a gallery of images.

Delia Brown, Rosas Amarillas, 2010, graphite and gouache on paper, 19 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches, Courtesy of the artist and D’Amelio Terras, New York

Delia Brown, Matrimonia II, 2010, graphite and gouache on paper, 25 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches, Courtesy of the artist and D’Amelio Terras, New York

Delia Brown, Pintora, 2010, graphite and gouache on paper, 19 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches, Courtesy of the artist and D’Amelio Terras, New York

Delia Brown, La Sala de Estar, 2010, graphite and gouache on paper, 19 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches, Courtesy of the artist and D’Amelio Terras, New York

Delia Brown, Dos Mujeres, 2010, brown ink with white gouache on watercolor paper, 22 1/4 x 15 inches, Courtesy of the artist and D’Amelio Terras, New York

Delia Brown, Hermanas, 2010, graphite and gouache on paper, 19 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches, Courtesy of the artist and D’Amelio Terras, New York

Delia Brown, Tres Mujeres en un Salón Social, 2010, graphite and gouache on paper, 19 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches, Courtesy of the artist and D’Amelio Terras, New York

Delia Brown, Cuadrilla del Arbol, 2010, graphite and gouache on paper, 19 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches, Courtesy of the artist and D’Amelio Terras, New York

Delia Brown, Mujeres en el Cuarto Tocador, 2010, brown ink with white gouache on watercolor paper, 15 x 22 1/4 inches, Courtesy of the artist and D’Amelio Terras, New York

Delia Brown, Malas Mujeres, 2010, graphite and gouache on paper, 19 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches, Courtesy of the artist and D’Amelio Terras, New York

Delia Brown, Afuera, 2010, graphite and gouache on paper, 19 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches, Courtesy of the artist and D’Amelio Terras, New York