|About the Artist|
The Virgen de Guadalupe in Chicana Art presents works by native Californian Yolanda M. Lopez, a scholar and artist/activist closely associated with the National Chicano Art Movement. Ms. Lopez examines the tenacity of visual stereotypes adhering within present-day American culture. She uses art to teach how public images sometime reinforce racism and ignorance for an instilling of destructive beliefs about Mexican-Americans in this country. To signify contemporary cultural struggles, she retools Mexican and indigenous icons such as the Virgen de Guadalupe. A pastel-on-paper series called Our Lady of Guadalupe by Ms. Lopez includes a portrait of herself as the Virgin of Guadalupe. Departing from traditional images of the Virgin, she depicts herself as an exuberant and powerful runner radiating the full-body mandorla (halo) while wearing the blue cape of stars traditionally associated with the Virgin of Guadalupe. While Ms. Lopez is committed to the Chicano cultural tenet that art can often be a means for political and social change, her exhibited images are not primarily of theological motive or theme. Rather, they are works meant to arouse curiosity or resentment, to make Chicanos think for a stir to societal action.
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