Row erupts over new Frida Kahlo Barbie

Released just ahead of International Women's Day, the "Inspiring Women" collection includes dolls based on Kahlo, pioneer aviatrix Amelia Earhart and other historic figures.

Published: 09th March 2018 03:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th March 2018 03:56 AM   |  A+A-

In this photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, a painting by Frida Kahlo (The Frame, 1938) is seen as part of one of two new exhibits featuring art exclusively by women at the Seattle Art Museum, in Seattle. Included in the exhibition is the only U.S. stop fo

By AFP

MEXICO CITY: A dispute has erupted over toy company Mattel's new Frida Kahlo Barbie doll, with the late Mexican artist's family and a Miami-based corporation arguing over who holds the rights to her image.

Mattel raised eyebrows, and indeed unibrows, on Wednesday when it announced that Kahlo -- a brilliant painter famous for defying gender norms -- would be included in its newest collection of Barbie dolls.

Released just ahead of International Women's Day, the "Inspiring Women" collection includes dolls based on Kahlo, pioneer aviatrix Amelia Earhart and other historic figures.

But Kahlo's family soon issued a statement objecting to the doll.

"Mrs Mara Romeo, great-niece of Frida Kahlo, is the sole owner of the rights of the image of the illustrious Mexican painter Frida Kahlo," it said.

"The company Mattel does not have the proper authorization to use the image of Frida Kahlo," it said, threatening to take "necessary measures" against the California-based toymaker.

Romeo said the problem went deeper than just a dispute over image rights.

"I would have liked the doll to have traits more like Frida's, not this doll with light-colored eyes... It should be a doll that represents everything my aunt represented, her strength," she told AFP.

However, an American company called the Frida Kahlo Corporation insisted it was the legitimate owner of the rights.

"Mattel has worked in close partnership with the Frida Kahlo Corporation, the owner of all rights related to the name and identity of Frida Kahlo, on the creation of this doll," it said in a statement.

Romeo's lawyer Pablo Sangri said the family established the Frida Kahlo Corporation in partnership with another company called Casablanca Distributors in 2005.

But the latter has violated their contract by failing to inform Kahlo's relatives about the uses of her image, he told AFP.

The image of Kahlo and her instantly recognizable eyebrows -- which she let grow into a single strip of dark brow in defiance of convention -- has been stamped onto an explosion of consumer products in recent years: nail polish, bags, shoes, notebooks and much, much more.

Kahlo (1907-1954), the wife of the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, is considered one of the great painters of the 20th century for her searingly intimate portraits, often dealing with her own pain and isolation.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp