Yasmin Hernandez’s Soldaderas Mural in East Harlem

The Puerto Rican muralist has a vision for East Harlem

By Jamilah King, Stokely Baksh Oct 24, 2011

Puerto Rican muralist Yasmin Hernandez has a vision for East Harlem. That vision came into focus back in June, when she finished her mural "Soldaderas." The mural — a new take on Frida Khalo’s "Las dos Fridas" — shows the legendary Mexican painter hand-in-hand with Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos. For Hernandez, the mural is a statement on the vitality of the changing neighborhood, one that’s often depicted as a place in which tensions between Puerto Rican and Mexican residents are described as tense and hostile.

Here’s what Hernandez wrote about the project:

Both women shared a profound love for their respective homelands of Puerto Rico and Mexico, an appreciation of revolutionary ideals, and a feminist outlook.  They suffered similar struggles and worked to overturn injustice.  At a time in which their male counter parts men did not delve into personal issues in their work, de Burgos and Kahlo unapologetically made the personal political. Both women were profoundly affected by the loss of their babies through miscarriage and shared their despair though graphic paintings and poems.

For more on Hernandez’s work, visit her website.

"Soldaderas" mural at one day old. Yasmin Hernandez/Photo

"Soldaderas" mural at three days old. Yasmin Hernandez/Photo

Unveiling ceremony of "Soladeras. Javier Soriano/Photo

Unveiling ceremony of "Soladeras. Javier Soriano/Photo