3 Chicago artists recreate iconic art through lens of disability

Michelle Gallardo Image
Sunday, September 8, 2019
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Three Chicago artists have reimagined some of the world's most iconic paintings through the lens of disability.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- From Picasso's "The Old Guitarist" to Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring," three Chicago artists have taken some of the world's most iconic paintings and reimagined them through the lens of disability.

"A lot of these images are very iconic that everyone will recognize, but we really want people to do a double take and see that we have swapped out all of the subjects for people with disabilities and local artists here in Chicago with disabilities," said artist Reveca Torres. "Every image has a different story and for the viewers to understand what life is like with a disability and that it's a human experience that we can all relate to. That we are all a lot more similar than we are different."

The Three Fridas, as the exhibit is called, takes its inspiration from Frida Kahlo's "The Two Fridas."

The three artists are women with disabilities. Photographer Tara Ahern has muscular dystrophy and scoliosis, while both Mariam Paré and Revecca Torres are quadriplegic.

"Frida was a pioneer for artists with disabilities," Paré said. "She made artwork that broke taboos and started conversations about people that nobody was talking about before. She poured her heart into her artwork."

Paré said Kahlo inspired her to tell her story in her own way.

"The biggest takeaway here is we're really trying to empower people with disabilities and also help them to see themselves represented in a way that they haven't been before," Ahern said.

"Tres Fridas" is open to the public through Sept. 22 at the Bridgeport Art Center.