Olga Costa

Wonderful Female Painters

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Olga Costa (1913-1993)

The Fruit Seller (1951)

 

There is a practical and astonishing way of knowing a country and its people: walking around its markets. And in this fruit stand, Olga Costa painted the color and exuberant nature of Mexico.

Olga Costa was another of the wonderful female painters that was born in Europe, but decided to be Mexican. And both as a painter and as a promoter of art she turned out to be fundamental for the modern painting of that country.

When she was a girl, she met Diego Rivera and his work, and she decided to abandon music and started to paint. She tried to study painting, but was not made for systems and theories and ended being a self-taught painter. We can notice this in the naïve characteristic of her figures that in turn make them spontaneous, fresh, and authentic.

She was Frida’s friend and they exhibited together. Nevertheless, their friendship did not grow too much because their husbands —José Chávez Morado y Diego Rivera— were distanced due to political differences.

All the color of Mexico is in her paintings. And with the color, all the essence of that country, that is her home. Notwithstanding, very intelligently, she did not abuse of the figure of the native or the exuberant vegetation. She represented it, for example, in this painting through the fruits. The painting we have chosen is considered to be the most important of her work. Those fruits, in the explosion of colors, in the diversity, in the textures, in being a miraculous gift of nature, are decidedly her land and culture.

Olga chose to show that Mexico without politicizing the painting, something that was very common in that time. She did not love it less for that.

She showed its folklore, the popular, and the daily beauty of the simple life without dramas. Olga said she painted “beauty, grace, fun. I have only painted things I like. I don’t like tragedy. Tragedy is myself.”

 

Recommended links:

Wonderful Female Painters: Frida Kahlo.

Wonderful Female Painters: Florine Settheimer.

Wonderful Female Painters: Leonora Carrington.

Wonderful Female Painters: Remedios Varo.

Wonderful Female Painters: Paula Modersohn-Becker.

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