Though London artist Hormazd Narielwalla works across several artistic disciplines – including printmaking, sculpture and artist’s books – he is best known for his intricate paper collages.
His new limited edition prints, which are made from vintage and bespoke tailoring patterns, are inspired by his long-time muse, the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
Q: Hi Hormazd, Frida Kahlo has been a muse of yours for a while now, can you tell us more about what makes her such an enduring, international icon?
A: Well it started with watching the film with Salma Hayek as the lead role, and I was star gazed to see a woman with a monobrow being depicted in a biopic. I started embracing my own monobrow for which I was relentlessly teased in school.
I also had a similar story, but not as violent as her (she was involved in a serious bus accident in Mexico city in 1925), where I slipped my disc and had back injuries when I was 16. The time spent in my bed allowed me to start drawing and sketching.
So, my fascination with Frida did not first centre around her practice. It was only when I came to the UK to study fashion that I happened to see the retrospective at Tate and was completely mesmerised by the genius that is Frida Kahlo, and based one of my final collections on the artist.
It’s her personal story that I admire, and her strong ability to transform that attracts me to her as a person and an artist.
Q: Collage is integral to your artistic practice, can you tell us more about the hand-cut elements in these new editions?
A: I make work out of patterns, which are cut out templates to make clothing for the body. These are accompanied by decorative motifs from various references including India and Japan.
They are also highly stylised with bows, and rosettes. We thought we could add a nice edition by hand placing gold bows in various parts of the editions.
‘In my renditions of Frida I have placed birds. As a faithful follower, I become the bird.’
Q: You use a lot of flora and fauna motifs, do they hold any symbolic significance?
A: Frida often depicted her lovers in the form of animals like they were faithful domesticated subjects. In my renditions of the artist I have placed birds to reference that, the only suggestion is, as a faithful follower I become the bird. I’m happy to be placed that way within the artworks to signify my own loyalty towards the artists.
Q: It’s lovely to see evidence of tailoring notes in pencil. Can you tell us more about the significance of the profession and how it impacts your artistic practice?
A: Cutters who draft the paper patterns record notes, measurements and any other information relevant to making a suit for their customers.
It’s a beautiful conversation that is recorded over years and all those nuances have become integral part of my work. I do not remove any of the scribbles or deface the pattern in any way. In fact, I embrace it and I explore the notions of the ‘found material’.
Q: Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind some of the garments your Fridas are wearing?
A: They are all made up from my imagination, and the process starts by placing patterns in a way that they resemble the body or garments.
I then meticulously cut motifs that adorn the collage. My goal is to create a unique collage that reflects the cultural aspects of Frida Kahlo so when people see the works they know they haven’t seen it, but it embodies everything that Frida was about. They are playful and serious at the same time.
Upon the release of our latest collection with artist Ele pack, we caught up with her to discuss her recent relocation to Derbyshire, and the new direction of her work.
Discover the collectible exhibition posters Hockney designed for Tate, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Opera and more.
Join us as we talk to Sarah Evans, the architect turned artist behind London-based design studio Oscar Francis about her work, inspirations and her experience of life as an artist during lockdown.
When Hormazd watched the 2002 Frida Kahlo film starring Salma Hayek, he was stunned. Ever since, he has returned to the Mexican artist for creative inspiration, most recently with his new limited edition prints featuring hand-applied gold bows.
Learn more about her unusual nocturnal art practice, her beloved cat ‘NooNoo’, and the vibrant portraits she creates of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and more.
Based in London, quirky collage artist Rosco Brittin tells us about his animal muses and an intriguing 'spirit genie' that offers him creative fuel...
Leading on from a rich artistic tradition, we take a look at how Cézanne carried the theme of bathers forward into the twentieth century.
Join us as we catch up with Hastings-based abstract landscape painter Louise Body to discuss fisherman’s smocks, juggling work and home life, and her previous career as a wallpaper designer.
To mark sixty years since Marilyn Monroe’s death, we take a closer look at some of our favourite prints and posters that encapsulate her timeless glamour.
We explore the ways Basquiat told a story of black struggle through his idols, including jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, legendary bebop saxophonist Charlie Parker, and boxers Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali.
Playful, colourful, and joyous to behold, mixed media artist Candida Powell-Williams’ work explores representations of overlooked historical women.
Discover our top picks, brought to you by many of our long-standing museum and art gallery partners including V&A, Charleston Trust, and Tate.
As Howard Hodgkin’s studio assistant for over 22 years, Andy Barker accompanied him on several trips to his beloved India. Find out more about his new print inspired by a tree he spotted from Hodgkin’s balcony.
London-based painter Emma Cousin uses the figure as a mechanism to explore phenomenological experiences.
Though they didn’t know it at the time, when three Swiss-German artists travelled around Tunisia for two weeks in 1914, they changed the course of twentieth-century art.
01273 511 942
Mon–Fri, 9 am–5 pm
All art prints and images on this website are copyright protected and belong to their respective owners. All rights reserved.