FRIDA LARIOS: NEW MAYA LANGUAGE
Quien es Frida Larios?
Frida is a typo-graphic designer, artist, and fashion designer hailing from Costa Rica but raised in the salt grain sized country of El Salvador. Frida's laundry list of accomplishments in art has made her a household name in Central America and throughout world.
Where it all began
In 2005, Frida presented her Masters thesis & case study on the Joya De Ceren archaeological site in El Salvador, a case study that would serve as a foundation for the rest of her work.
New Maya Language
Larios' art is largely influenced by the indigenous peoples that inhabit/inhabited Latin America, especially the Maya whose empire stretched throughout the south of Mexico and expanded into Guatemala, Honduras, as well as El Salvador.
In 2013, Frida introduced her award-winning exhibit, "New Maya Language- Redesigning an Ancient Script" to the world; the pictoglyph series is based on ancient Maya hieroglyphs, and is combined with boldly vivid colors that truly bring her work of art to life. New Maya Language is the artist's redesign of logographs that are intended to communicate concepts and sentences.
Historically, the Mayan script was only available to the elite, meaning that the everyone else was denied the opportunity to understand, read, and learn to scribe. However, Frida's artwork, New Maya Language, has made Maya script freely available to communities in the form of visual books, toys, and more. Not only is it accessible to all, Larios' books have been translated into visual language, Spanish, English, and Maya. On her website, the artist states that the visual language can easily help create a more literate community in the developing world.
Larios has showcased "New Maya Language" all over the world; she is credited with designing logos for numerous companies aside from her creation of educational signage for archaeological sites. Not only is she an artist and fashion designer, she has also designed a children's book available for purchase. The image below is an excerpt from her award winning book titled "The Village That Was Buried By an Erupting Volcano", a true historical account of an indigenous Maya community in El Salvador that was wiped out by a volcanic eruption, but was preserved by volcanic ash.
In 2013, Frida was the only Central American selected as part of the Mandela Poster Project Tribute; over 700 designers submitted their work but few were chosen to create posters that would be auctioned off to benefit Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital Trust.
In July 2015, The Star went on to name El Salvador as one of the best uniforms seen at the Pan Am Games- the uniforms designed by Frida.
On October 31, 2015 Frida and fellow Indigenous Design Collective artist, Manuel León unveiled their work titled, Maíz, Flor, Serpiente or Maize, Flower, Serpent. The digital mural, which was commissioned by the Smithsonian Latino Center is the artists' interpretation of Macuilxochitzin; they referenced Maya Hieroglyphs and other indigenous art in order to create the mural.