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Help Support diversity in contemporary arts education for the City of Los Angeles


A free community event celebrating Women's History Month

LA Artcore Union Center for the Arts


•Come celebrate the life of Mexican artist and cultural icon, Frida Kahlo

•Lectures about the life of Frida by Latin American arts and culture expert Gregorio Luke.

•Opening reception of rarely seen Frida Kahlo photographs by her friend, Columbian photographer Leo Matiz (1917-1998).

•Free Fridamania! Family Festival including dance performances by Ballet Folklorico Guadalajara, arts and crafts, Frida-inspired merchandise by local artisans and free giveaways.

•All events take place at LA Artcore in the historical Little Tokyo district of Downtown Los Angeles.

Saturday, March 24th

11AM-3PM: Fridamania! Family Festival

Shop your favorite Frida items from our local artist booths!

Children workshops:
Facepainting and Balloon Making
Make your own Frida Hairpiece!
Frida and Diego Foam keychain making
Coloring Station

1PM: Dance Performance by Ballet Folklorico Guadalajara

5PM-6PM: Opening Reception for Leo Matiz + Cocktail Hour

6PM & 8PM: Lecture by Gregorio Luke

8-9PM: Meet & Greet

Sunday, March 25th

12AM-5PM: Fridamania! Family Festival

Shop your favorite Frida items from our local artist booths!

Children workshops:
Facepainting and Balloon Making
Make your own Frida Hairpiece!
Frida and Diego Foam keychain making
Coloring Station

1PM: Dance Performance by Ballet Folklorico Guadalajara

4PM-5PM: Opening Reception for Leo Matiz + Cocktail Hour

2PM & 5PM: Lecture by Gregorio Luke

6-7PM: Meet & Greet


LA Artcore @ the Union Center for the Arts - 120 Judge John Aiso St. Los Angeles, CA 90012


Fridamania! Family Festival: FREE!

Gregorio Luke Lectures: $15/pre-sale, $20/door

Leo Matiz Opening Reception & Cocktail Hour: FREE!

About Gregorio Luke

Gregorio Luke is an expert on Mexican and Latin American art and culture. Mr. Luke has presented over 1,000 lectures in museums and universities throughout Mexico, Europe and the United States in institutions such as the Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institution, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, and Universities such as Harvard, Columbia, UNAM and Georgetown, among others.

He is the former Director of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, former Consul of Cultural Affairs of Mexico in Los Angeles and the First Secretary of the Embassy of Mexico in Washington D.C.

In 1995, Luke was honored with the Irving Leonard Award by the Hispanic Society of the Library of Congress.  In 2005, The Ebell Club of Los Angeles honored him with a Life-time Achievement Award. In 2006, Luke received the El Angel Award by the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts and in 2007 he was recognized by CATE (California Association of Teacher’s in English) for promoting literacy in public schools.  

In 2008 he received the Local Hero Award of KCET.

Leo Matiz, a Universal Photographer
By Miguel Ángel Flórez Góngora

Leo Matiz is one of the most versatile and singular photographers among the legendary and memorable generation of graphic reporters which transformed the scene of photojournalism in Latin America, the United States and Europe during the 20th Century’s first six decades.

Matiz was born in 1917 in Rincón Guapo, a hamlet near Aracataca, in the department of Magdalena, where the tropical lushness of the land proliferated while its inhabitants modestly survived growing bananas. In his teen years he moved to Bogotá to work at El Tiempo newspaper. He frequented the bohemian café lifestyle along with famous painters and caricaturists in the late 1930s. On Enrique Santos Molano’s (also known as “Calibán” and current Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ grandfather) demand, Matiz switched to photography. In Colombia, he grew a reputation as a graphic reporter who was always on the alert for situations, and as an incisive hunter of the vicissitudes and souls of the characters he captured with his Rolleiflex camera.

Dynamic, tireless, and obsessed with achieving perfection with his reporting work, Matiz traveled unceasingly across the five continents, putting his talent, among other activities, as stills photographer in movies, advertising photographer, newspapers and art galleries founder. As a matter of fact, he hosted in his Leo Matiz Art Gallery the first exhibition of painter Fernando Botero.

Mexico, Central America, United States, the South American Andes, the Caribbean, Palestine, Beirut, Tel Aviv and Venezuela are just some of the settings where Leo Matiz’s untamable, passionate soul fluttered around, turning his eyes into what Henri Cartier-Bresson called the “decisive moment”, that unrepeatable second where the unexpected of human existence, a retina that goes beyond what’s visible, and an extraordinary sensitivity to understand the frenzy of history merge, unaware of the ruthless rhythm of rotary press.
Going around the world for images also took Leo Matiz into unexpected journeys, such as the one that put him at the heart of events in Paris celebrating the Liberation from the Nazi occupation regime on August 24th, 1944, when with a clear, penetrating, and compassionate gaze, he transformed the freedom-inebriated urban skyscape into geometric and fanciful scenes.

Without any doubt, Matiz dove into the vibrant atmosphere of the liberated Paris night, chased by the avant-garde ghosts of graphic reporters like Robert Doisneau and Brassaï. They had achieved their best work back in interwar Europe, inspired by the depiction of the City of Light’s disquieting night magic in its urban details: the squares, streets, corners and façades that have transformed it into the desirable and eternal dream of our visual memory, performing the ritual of what once was foretold by American essayist Susan Sontag: “All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person's (or thing's) mortality, vulnerability, mutability.”

And so, jumping from one country to the other, from one continent to the other, Leo Matiz creative and tumultuous life deserved honors such as being appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1995, and the Filo d’Argento Prize in Florence, Italy, in 1997. In 1998, the Colombian government saluted him as one of the major figures of 20th Century photography.

Leo Matiz was a genuine Colombian. His death, on October 24th, 1998, linked him permanently and forever, with 20th Century’s visual memory.




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