April 30, 2001
Subject: Re: [AztlanNet] "pobre pedro"
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 01:02:46 -0600
From: "rudy fernandez" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As I remember, the request was to post some
of your current art and information about current museum shows or show in
the near future.Your criticism sounds a little too much like sour grapes.
When I read your postings concerning Alma's
Virgin, they feel like they are personal attacks rather than constructive
criticism.Your use of the term "real art" as a criticism doesn't
really give me a lot information about why you seem to disqualify
her work from that category. You call it poster art, for what reason, because
the image is computer manipulated or because it disagrees
with your personal sensibilities? Comparing her work to that of Ana Mandieta
or Kiki Smith, that's like comparing apples to oranges. They are two totally
I resent the air of expertise with which you
address Chicana Feminism. Pedro we are men, we are never going to be able
to understand that movement to the extent that a Chicana is able.
In regard to your reference to my defense of
Alma's work from your destructive criticism as being a "pobre yo"
defense, I once defended your work in much the same manner when I served
on the Foundation Board at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe. If that is
the way that you want to refer to it, so be it.
In the past few weeks I've discussed this issue
with Luis Tapia, Mark Spencer and a number of other notable Santa Fe artists
and what I've learned is that they do not share your opinion, not one of them.
That is why I am puzzled in regard to which community you are speaking
of when you mention their feelings and politics. Unless of course you
do not consider the afore mentioned to be a part of the community.
Pedro, in your closing statement you indicate
that you are ready to defend your work against any valid criticism. Validate
your criticism of Alma's art from the criteria of artistic nomenclature,
not from the point of religious zeal. I'm still interested in see your current
Subject: [AztlanNet] THE DESTRUCTION OF HISPANO
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 12:56:26 +0000
From: Octavio Romano <email@example.com>
Organization: TQS Publications
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com>=====================
ON THE DESTRUCTION OF HISPANO FOLK ART
by Octavio Romano
Flash! 1521: Invading Spaniards destroy the
art of the Aztecs
Flash! 2001: Invading California Artists destroy
Hispano Folk Arts in New Mexico.
The so-called Cyber Arte on exhibit at the New
Mexico Museum of International Folk Arts is referred to by the museum staff
as "Tradition meets Technology." This title is no more than the
work of a verbal contortionist trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
By no stretch of the wildest imagination can
the flower bedecked nude religious virgin of Guadalupe be called folk art,
no matter how presented. Within all public accounts of MOIFA's charter there
exists no clear-cut authority to palm-off as folk art such highly expensive
digital works, hence, the verbal contortions.
Conveniently overlooked in all public statements
by the curator, and the artist, is the fact that the work now on exhibit at
MOIFA is but one of a similar series which depict the Virgin of Guadalupe
in various romantic poses with mermaids. One, in particular, is titled, "Lupe
(nick name for the Virgin of Guadalupe) and Mermaid in Love." They are
It appears that the work by Alma Lopez is but
an administrative wedge to introduce California lesbian art into the context
of Northern New Mexico's folk culture.
Small wonder the reaction, while the administrator
and the artist who are responsible, express surprise and astonishment.
It appears that the curator administratively
responsible for this cultural fiasco is out of touch with the realities which
surround her, no matter what her credentials. Either that, or her actions
reflect a public abuse of administrative authority in the interest of personal
For me, and for so many others who have lived
in New Mexico, as well as for the Hispanos of the north, the Hispanic wing
of the Museum has always given me and others a warm feeling of welcome, a
feeling of belonging, a feeling of pride, and satisfaction because the folk
arts of Northern New Mexico have given me and us the only expression of U.S.
Hispanic arts which have become world famous.
I am not ashamed to say that now, " I weep
at its portending destruction by insensitive administrators and California
Octavio Ignacio Romano-Vizcarra
B.A. UNM, anthropology
M.A. UNM, anthropology
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley.
Senior Editor: TQS Publications.
Subject: Our Lady of Guadalupe
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 06:58:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Maria Gonzalez-Escareno <email@example.com>
Dear Ms. Lopez,
I am a Mexican-American woman born in the U.S.
and raised in the conservative border town of Laredo. My
parents were both born in Mexico and therefore, I was raised in a conservative, Catholic family. My roots are deeply Mexican, and I have never identified myself with the Chicano culture as much as I have with the cultura Mexicana. It seems to me that you have taken Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe as a symbol of Chicana power, and completely debased her blessed, holy status as mother of Jesus Christ and Patron Saint of los Mexicanos. I do not intend to offend your artwork; i encurage you to continue your career and wish you success as a Mexican artist in the U.S. I do, however, feel that this particular painting is offensive to any Catholic Mexican that revers La Virgen de Guadalupe in their prayers. She is seen as a mother by millions. Please, do not intend to transform the most revered and holy symbol of Mexico into a Chicana, brown-power icon. Gracias.
Subject: Your picture
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 09:25:30 -0600
From: "GTE Lab" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Ms. Lopez,
We sent the following letter to the editor of
the New Mexican this morning. I wanted to send you a copy in case they
don't print it, so that you know that your supporters are active!.
We have two questions for those who feel that
the picture of the Virgin by Alma Lopez, hanging in a quiet gallery in the
Museum of International Folk Art is sacrilegious. Why is it not sacrilegious
to use a picture of Jesus to prop open the hood of a car, as we saw on the
front page of the paper on Monday morning, April 30? One page four, there
is a representation of the Virgin. She is tattooed on the arm of a young man
wearing a team-numbered muscle shirt, surrounded by cars and large Coke cups.
Is this an appropriate way and place to display the Virgin, especially on
a Sunday, when one would expect the truly devoted to be in church and not
at a Low Rider Show?
Kim Aeby and Frances Wilmeth
Subject: Re: [CHICLE] website
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 09:49:56 -0700
From: "Harold Salas-Kennedy" <KENNEDY-H@sa.ucsb.edu>
Helllo Alma. I have been following all this from the beginning. You have my support. I admire you and your wonderful work. Pablo Garcia and I met to discuss your work. I wish you the best....
Subject: [AztlanNet] FWD: message from Carla
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 15:14:01 -0700 (PDT)
From: gbejarano <email@example.com>
To: Monitor AztlanNet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 14:24:03 -0600
From: Carla Lopez <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Alma Lopez [AztlanNet]
Rudy y 'pobre yo' Pedro, Carla Lopez here.
I doubt that Alma Lopez or any other artists have a problem with critical words about their work. Like you said, "it comes with the territory." But Pedro, to me your words go beyond critique. They are painful. Those rocks you are throwing hurt. The entire list has heard over and over that in your own perspective you do not find value in Alma's work. Many others of us here in SF find the image nurturing and refreshing. I am not an artist in the same sense as the rest of you on this list but seeing images that tell my own story from a place of ancient truth is fine art in my book. Let's talk. Carla (I also am not related to Alma nor have I even met her)