Magdalena Suarez Frimkess was born in 1929 in Caracas, Venezuela. Her earliest works, made in the orphanage where she spent much of her childhood, were paintings on altar cloths of Bible scenes and flowers. As a teenager, she studied landscape painting, and in the fifties, she began taking courses in sculpture at the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago, Chile. In 1963, she was awarded a fellowship at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York, where she met the ceramist Michael Frimkess, who became her longtime partner and collaborator. Their joint creations—Grecian vessels thrown by Michael and glazed with vibrant Aztec imagery and cartoon figures by Magdalena—have been shown widely. Since 2013, Suarez Frimkess has garnered attention for her distinctive handmade works, which draw from ancient myth, classical Japanese iconography, and pop culture. The pieces in Companions feature Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Felix the Cat, and a tiger of her own invention.