David Enriquez

Teaching Artist-in-Residence, Spring 2022

In art workshops designed for all ages, David Enriquez draws upon the recurring themes, symbolism, and imagery visible in Frida Kahlo’s work to explore modernist and contemporary techniques of portraiture. His hands-on activities will expand and deepen the understanding of works on view in The World of Frida and Frida Kahlo in Context (February 4–May 22, 2022).

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An introduction to the innovative techniques employed by modern and contemporary artists like Mickalene Thomas and Nitzia Tufiño, which are redefining portrait-making, will support an appreciation of the complex emotions and ideas contained within Frida Kahlo’s surrealist iconography, as well as enhance a communal learning experience.

Drawing upon his own memories and Oaxacan background, Enriquez invites visitors to collaborate with him in ways that involve spontaneous performance as well as visual art. For both the artist and the public, teaching and learning will become reciprocal.

“My work is extremely personal, from idea to production. Art making for me has become a form of self-guided therapy; I am able to reflect on ideas, concepts, emotions, events, encounters . . . . With every artwork I produce, I am able to communicate the findings of these reflections. In a sense, my paintings and sculptures say what I sometimes struggle to verbalize.”

David Enriquez is an emerging figurative painter and sculptor based in Ridgewood, New York, who recently graduated summa cum laude from the City College of New York, where he won the James R. Steers Prize in Art. He was born in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca and moved to the United States when he was still a child. His work is informed primarily by the artistic legacy of the colonial period of Latin America, with works created in the Spanish colonies of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru, from the sixteenth through the early nineteenth century.

Enriquez’s first encounters with art took place inside a colonial church filled with paintings and sculptures of the crucifixion, sorrowful madonnas, and tortured saints. This Catholic iconography, syncretic religious practices, rich artistic history, and childhood memories of his homeland are a constant source of inspiration for him. His preferred genre is portraiture, and in particular his miniatures—inspired by sixteenth-century European practice—highlight the beauty that has been overlooked, undermined, and excluded by the Western art establishment for centuries, with its limited portrayals of people of color. Currently he is working on paintings that explore his childhood fears, which stemmed from real and imagined situations.


In conjunction with David Enriquez’s residency, a selection of his work will be on view in the Joyce Greene Education Center from February 4–May 22, 2022.

Supported by funds from the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) through the American Recovery Plan Act.


Public Workshops

Common Thread: Hilorama Collaborative Artwork
Saturday, February 5, 1–3pm
Hilorama, or string art, is a popular craft in Mexico that requires only small nails, a piece of plywood, and thread. Join David Enriquez in creating a communal hilorama to be exhibited in Greene Education Center for the duration of The World of Frida. Together, participants will create a work of art that alludes to Frida’s love for handcrafted indigenous textiles (huipiles) and the symbols used to express her pain and ailments. Recommended for ages 13+.

Monotypes: Celebrating Mexican Women Artists
Saturday, March 12, 1–3pm
Celebrate Women’s History Month with David Enriquez in a printmaking workshop focused on linework and the addition of color. Create original monotypes of notable Mexican women artists based on portraits made by Mexican modernists, some of whom were close friends of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, such as Rosa Rolanda, a Mexican-American dancer, painter, photographer, and anthropologist with strong ties to NYC. Recommended for ages 13+.

Dazzling Icons: Mixed-Media Portraiture
Saturday, April 9, 1–3pm
In a workshop inspired by Frida Kahlo’s practice of immortalizing her loved ones through her paintings, visitors are encouraged to create “shimmering” self-portraits, or portraits of friends or family, through an exploration of the collage technique of contemporary artist Mickalene Thomas, whose work Clarivel with Black Blouse with White Ribbon is in the Museum’s permanent collection. Create striking collage portraits using rhinestones, paint, and glitter. Further personalize your artwork by bringing your own photographs to the workshop for inspiration!

Chisme Con Chocolate (Gossip with Chocolate)
Saturday, May 21, 1–3pm
The inspiration for this workshop comes from a weekly activity involving David Enriquez’s mother, sister, aunt, and cousins. Every Saturday, his aunt and cousins would visit his house to catch up over breakfast, consisting of homemade chilaquiles, tamales, and pan dulce from the local Mexican grocery store. It was only after they had savored their first sip of hot chocolate—the most important component of the meal—that they would sit down together and begin sharing the highlights of their week.

In pre-Columbian times throughout Mesoamerica, the act of preparing this drink became such an important performance that it was believed the person foaming the chocolate could transmit their affection to the drinker. In the family’s Connecticut kitchen, it was only Enriquez’s mother who was entrusted with the molenillo, the traditional turned wood whisk used in Latin America to make sure the chocolate had just the right amount of foam.

This event is designed to be a recreation of that family ritual. Visitors will be invited to a demonstration (and tasting) of how traditional Mexican hot chocolate is made using a molenillo. The chisme component of this interactive experience will be recreated through a lively talk about the practice, storytelling, and conversation.

Family Studio Art Workshops
Explore the artistic practice of David Enriquez in these creative hands-on activities for families, ideal for children ages 5–10, facilitated by Junior Docents every weekend from 1–4pm. Please note, workshop capacity is limited to 20 people at a time, and the last family will be admitted at 3:45pm.

Dazzling Icons
Saturdays & Sundays in February and May
Celebrate Black History Month with David Enriquez in a collage portrait workshop. Use printed images of African American historical figures, as well as of Frida Kahlo, and employ a technique borrowed from artist Mickalene Thomas, whose portrait Clarivel with Black Blouse with White Ribbon is in the HRM’s permanent collection.

Threading Stories
Saturdays & Sundays in March
Celebrate Women’s History Month with David Enriquez, who leads a mixed-media workshop inspired by huipiles, a traditional, loose-fitting blouse crafted in Tehuantepec, Mexico, by women and muxes, or third-gender individuals. Explore textile fiber as a medium and create a miniature version of the community hilorama, or string art, on view in Greene Education Center. Use thread to create a small artwork with patterns of your own design by weaving the thread on a loom made of cardboard.

Vanishing Portraits
Saturdays & Sundays, April 2–May 1
Learn one of many printing methods in this workshop inspired by Frida Kahlo’s double self portraits, which represent the complexity of human emotion. Create a self-portrait in two prints that explore and expose your past and present selves through monotype printing, doubling, contrast, and color.


Photo: Simon Moore