What do you think of when you hear the name “Frida Kahlo?” Her lush, Tehuantepec-inspired dresses? Her flowered headdresses? Her unmistakeable unibrow? These days, one of the most iconoclastic and eccentric artists of her time is often reduced to a mass-produced fashion icon. With all the Halloween costumes and kitschy Frida-printed magnets, bags etc, she’s surely one of the most recognizable Mexican figures in the world–and the most commodified. (Though those El Chapo t-shirts could change that.)
Guillaume “G” Guevara, owner. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)
Guillaume “G” Guevara isn’t a big fan of the way local businesses represent Mexico: “When I go to a restaurant here it looks like a museum for wackos,” he told us. That’s why he’s opening Miscelanea New York, a grocery, gift shop and takeaway torta/coffee spot featuring products sourced from or inspired by his homeland.
“It’s an extension of Mexico, in a way,” said Guevara. When his store opens in the East Village on July 15, he hopes it’ll be more true to contemporary Mexico than what he has seen in other places during his 12 years of living in New York. “I don’t mean to diminish people’s businesses, but I’ve had an issue with the way Mexico is presented in other establishments,” he said. “It works and it sells, but I don’t like when I go to a Mexican store and everything is luchador masks and mariachi and tequila shots. That’s not the Mexico I grew up with.”
The celebrity cemetery on Broome Street has no headstones, graves or flowers. Through Sunday, the Whitebox Art Center will display 51 portraits from British painter Robert Priseman’s “FAME” series, depicting stars who “died prematurely from suicide or as a result of a self-destructive lifestyle.” More →