Yolanda M. Lopez: The Virgen de Guadalupe Series
Yolanda Lopez is a scholar, activist and artist whose work reflects great pride in her Mexican heritage. Lopez is best known for her Guadalupe Series—a series of pastel-on-paper pieces in which Lopez merges the important Mexican/Indigenous symbolism of the Virgen de Guadalupe with everyday depictions of Mexican women; (pictured above)
On her ground-breaking and sometimes controversial Virgen de Guadalupe Series Yolanda Lopez says:
I originally did the Virgin de Guadalupe series when I was looking at media. I wanted to look at the images that we have of the Virgin–she was essentially the most ubiquitous female Latina. What was its meaning? So, I did the first one of myself running.
Then I did the image of my mother [as the Virgen] who was working at the Navel Training Center at a sewing machine, so I wanted to show her as a working woman. This is one of the problems with the Virgen de Guadalupe being so ubiquitous, there is no real imagery of Latinas at the work that we do.
The other one was that of my grandmother. The Virgen de Guadalupe is always this beautiful, young thing. Yet there is no depiction of her as an older woman. I was conscious about this and so that‘s why I did my grandmother as an older woman. I see the Virgen de Guadalupe as being the great Aztec goddess and I think that’s one of the reasons why she has such a strong, indefinable hold on Mexicans and women in general. Its more primordial. I think the great Aztec goddess, Cuatlique, depicts the primal forces in nature: life, death and rebirth. (via latinopia)
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Images courtesy of The Marian Library International Marian Research Institute and can be viewed in full here.