Note: The Gogh part of Vincent Van Gogh’s name is really supposed to be pronounced like hawking a loogie.
Goghmeslice slices off his ear.
He uses the red coughing from his deafness to add pops of color to a still life.
After finishing his color pops, Goghmeslice nibbles his brush. He mumbles, with a mouth full of desperation, which tastes like artistic hunger, and blood, “I shall call it…
Friday comes and the one-eared wonder fills his stolen shopping cart with More Sunflowers and Astral Astral Evening, editions one through ninety-nine. He rattles to the farmer’s market.
There, he erects some easels and displays his rip-offs beside a booth of Himalayan whatnots and imported jerky.
Tibetan incense makes your eyes water.
You blink harder as you stroll, getting corn that my friends Griselda and Amy sold you lodged between your teeth.
You see the one-eared impersonator.
He haggles in his affected accent with a buyer.
The faker’s best friend, a Paul Gauguin impersonator, spies from a nearby tapas bar.
My rabbits and I pop out from behind a statue of an undernourished Buddhist goddess, jeer at the impostor, and taunt, “Why don’t you go Dutch with yourself and buy your own terds? We’re Van Gone! We’re Van Outta Here.”
My rabbits hop after me, towards Griselda and Amy’s corn booth. We’re gonna share an ear with Dad (TJ).
If the aforementioned scene is a healthy reaction meant to encourage a person who is pretending to be Vincent Van Gogh to be themselves, then why when a Chicana braids her hair, Rogaines her eyebrows, drapes herself with Pier 1 Imports’ heaviest jewelry, wears her dead grandma’s shawl, dresses her dog in a monkey outfit, gets down with an overweight lover, and creates reproductions of Frida Kahlo’s works do people interact with her with a straight face, buy her tacky ass “work,” and financially support her personality disorder?
What catalyst turns a Guadalupe into a Frida?
Becoming Frida is not a childhood dream.
I went to elementary school with plenty of Lupes and none ever told me, “When I grow up, I want to have one eyebrow.”
I see these Fridas at farmers markets, fundraisers, and Target. As I stare, a soliloquy churns inside me:
“Who is that bitch under all that Frida?
Does she have a goldfish?
Will it kill itself?
Does she use margarine or butter?
How does she deal with her moustache?
What part of Mexico is her family from?
Or is she from El Salvador?
Did she fail her driving test, too?
If she could avoid having tea with any dead artist, who would it be?
Mine would be Ayn Rand.
She would eat all the cookies and call it virtue.
What would Frida Kahlo buy at Target?
I guess I’ll have to follow this bitch and find out.
That’s who you are.
You are a lady who eats Hot Pockets.
Now I know you.
Underneath all that Frida, you are just
a Hot Pocket
in a thong.”
I relish when the person under the Frida is betrayed by a quirk, a crack in the Frida.
Frida’s Kahlo’s work betrays the sense that the person who least wanted to be Frida Kahlo was stuck being Frida Kahlo.
This annoys me about the substitute Fridas.
This pisses me off more.
Frida didn’t make that.
She made this.
The planet needs your Frida reproductions like it needs more 3-D films.
Frida fakers, you’re not Frida! Be a real artist and indulge your narcissism! Paint your own stupid lives! Smear yourselves across the canvas! You do it once a month when you have your period. Now just be an exhibitionist about it!
The decolonialist in me wants to free the Fridas, liberate them from their personas, attack their faces with Nair, Pussy Riot across their wares.
Although, I could, perhaps, be misreading the Fridas.
The Fridas might not actually be pathetic ladies masquerading as a famous artist due to a personal wealth of fear and self-loathing. They might be genius performance artists in concert with one another to develop a legion of faux Mexican artists, devoted to the creation of clichés, whom nobody questions! Like Cindy Sherman but hairier and without the glory or the funding!
If that is what being a lifestyle Frida is really all about, I’m riding the Frida train.
I hope watching me Fridder away my time with my ridiculous unibrow has stopped any future riders from hopping on board the F train.
There’s no room left on it left anyways, thanks to Astrid Hadad’s outfits.