Frida Kahlo celebrated her 110th birthday on July 6, and it’s safe to say that no one partied harder than the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), which welcomed over 5,000 guests for the occasion. More than 1,000 of them attended in costume as Kahlo, as part of the museum’s attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest single gathering of people dressed as the iconic Mexican artist.
“I’ve recently looked up what Frida does and seen her self-portraits, and she’s so true to herself and proud of herself and it’s an inspiration,” said 13-year-old participant Sofia Valadez to the Dallas Morning News. “She’s such a strong, independent woman. And I like her eyebrows.”
The rules for participating were strict: a red or pink shawl, a below-the-knee dress, a crown featuring at least three flowers, and, obviously, the Kahlo unibrow. Despite their singular look, the crowd was diverse, with Fridas young and old, male and female taking part.
Of course, there is no existing record on the books, so DMA’s efforts were presumably successful, pending official approval from Guinness, which has a 12-week review process.
The DMA, which first submitted their application for the record in January, must now turn over photo and video documentation of the event to Guinness. To establish a new record category for mass participation, the record book requires just 250 people. There must be two independent witnesses, a log of everyone taking part, and a steward for every 50 people in costume.
Kahlo’s birthday celebration coincided with the final days of the museum’s blockbuster exhibition “México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco and the Avant-Garde,” which closes July 16. One of the institution’s top 10 shows of the new millennia, it had already brought in 75,000 guests in mid-June.
Among the highlights of the critically acclaimed exhibition is Kahlo’s dual self-portrait The Two Fridas, on a rare loan from Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City.
In addition to the Guinness attempt, the evening’s festivities included documentary screenings, dancing, and birthday cake, and the chance to get a Khalo-inspired makeover from Mexican-inspired cosmetics line Reina Rebelde.
“The life, work and style of Frida Kahlo have been the source of inspiration for people around the world, and the DMA’s Frida Fest was a vibrant way of celebrating her continued impact on so many of us,” said museum director Agustín Arteaga in an email to artnet News. “We’re so pleased with the enthusiastic participation at our event, which encouraged our community to engage with art and with each other in a new way.”
Follow artnet News on Facebook.