May 24, 2001
Subject: the Raquel Salinas poster vs. la Tilma
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 00:13:37 -0000
From: "Pedro Romero Sedeno" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm in Santa Fe, and I object to your assessment of the Santa Fe opposition as "small town culture" mentality. I am an artist working here in Santa for 13 years and have an MFA from CU-Boulder, where my thesis was on postmodern cultural intervention. Indeed, I have been performing a cultural intervention at the MOIFA and CyberArte show which is presently being censored by the Museum and the media which I would like to tell you more about sometime. It's title is the Santa Fe Ofrenda Project. I am not a folk artist, and unlike Alma, have no ambition to exhibit in the Folk Art Museum. In 2000, I sold a ceramic sculpture, oriented to the issue of nuclear militarism, called False Idol #1 to the New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts for $6k for its permanent collection. In 1990, I publicly challenged this same museum for its pitifully dismal record of showing Chicano art.
Please refer to one of several postings of my critical analysis of Alma's work. Please know that I find "the Lady of Holy Carne", as I like to refer to it, as not "avant-garde" at all. It's rather shallow and cliche to me. Infatuation with this work is what I consider "small town"; this work looks more like a movie poster than "art" . You are right, pseudo-Guadalupe Hollywood costumes do not a strong woman communicate. And yes, it would behoove you to ponder more about the implications of Romano's posting of artists vs. poor people "aspects of this issue." I am intrigued by your reference to yourself as a museum person, and hope we could have some real discussion intellectually of this controversy. Peace, Pedro Romero Sedeno*, MFA * w/ enye
Subject: Re: [AztlanNet: ARTS|LETTERS] alma
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 00:34:58 -0000
From: "Pedro Romero Sedeno" <email@example.com>
Chicl, please fwd to Erlinda Gonzalez-Berry:
as per the "liberation" inspired by Alma's Lady, come on, it looks like a pseudo-Guadalupe costume for the Academy Awards. a Chicana Victoria Secret's ad. Please know that here in New Mexico, Mejicanos y Mejicanas feel Alma's poster is "haciendo burla", a ridicule of their cultural identity. Guadalupe unites and empowers, Alma' idol is empty and powerless.
Subject: regarding "Our Lady" controversy...
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 08:18:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Solis Raquel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: "Prof. JF Herrera" <email@example.com>
to: Alma Lopez
First of all, I would like to let you know that
you have many supporters out here in Fresno. Personally, I consider "Our
Lady" a valuable, empowering piece. Chicanas have to endure a lot of
criticism. For some reason womanism is seen as controversy. Instead it should
be seen as a positive way to empower women of color. I am glad your artwork
was not removed from the exhibition, as I believe it deserves as much to be
in exhibition as the other artworks there.
By the way, I have seen discussions on compuserve
about "Our Lady." Most of the outraged people admit that they have
not even seen the piece, yet they say it is inmoral, unethical, so on... I
believe that more Chicana/os should support Chicana art. I don't know if many
of those against are Chicanos, like Villegas, but I sure hope more Chicanos
defend cultural expression.
Sincerely, Raquel Solis
Subject: Joyce Ice, INFA,'Recommendation'
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 12:40:46 EDT
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
'Letter to the Editor'
May 24, 2001
'Committee on Sensitive Materials.' Their recommendation
definitely were not sensitive to the situation at hand, this was a, 'Partner
in Crime,'' decision. It is only going to escalate the matter of the 'lady'
to a boiling point.
You, Thomas and Arnold knew displaying, the
'cyber Arte ,' would cause much friction in the community since the begining
of it's introduction in February, knowing the Santa Fe Catholic community
is a community of Faith you went on ahead and now have caused serious damage.
You have caused division between many Hispanics and Anglos; a mockery quite
visible. The people against the Catholic Church attacking not so much because
of, 'Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression', but rather hatred; a few godless
and faithless people it is quite noticeable in many editorials. Alma lopez
thinks some people favor her digital art of the lady not realizing they are
using it a tool to create division among many Hispanics and a definite blast
against the Church.
Alma Lopez's particular work of the lady should
have been discussed with Church leaders. Now you have made a fatal mistake.
It is obvious that some of you live in a cocoon and unaware of what's going
on in the community.
This will be a sad day in history because of
lack of respect for other people's faith and traditions.
All I can say now, I wish you Thomas and Arnold
would pack up your bags and leave this community as well as some of the members
of the C.S.M.
In my behalf,
cc: Joyce ice
Subject: Our Lady of Guadalupe
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 13:54:51 EDT
I am sorry, but your depiction of Our Lady of
Guadalupe is just not respectful of Our Lady. And the bare breasted woman
at the bottom is very distasteful. Our Lady herself said she was a humble
handmaiden of the Lord.
She would never appear in such fashion.
Subject: "Our Lady"
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 11:29:40 -0700
From: "C. Excxnxs" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I believe that freedom of speech and expression
comes before anything. Women like yourself create such a powerful and positive
image that women like myself who aspire in becoming chicana artist as well,
can follow and learn from.
I do not find your work as being sacrilegious in anyway, on the contrary, I see your work as sending out a powerful message, that which empowers the women as viewing themselves in a different perspective, in a new light.
Many women are viewed by others and by themselves
the way we were taught to view the image of the Virgin Mary. That we must
be respectful, quiet, obedient, servants of men; it's time that we stop...we
must see ourselves like you mentioned in one of your statements, as being
strong and beautiful, that our beautiful bodies should be viewed as gifts
from our creator.
There should be no shame in displaying our bodies in a tasteful manner, whether it be artistically or not. I wish you luck with your work and I hope that people who disapprove of your work will wake up a realize you speak the truth through artistic expression...they need to widen their horizens and open their mind.
Graphic Design/Chicano Latino Studies Student,
California State University, Fresno
Subject: Viva La Virgin!!!
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 14:34:14 -0400
From: Ida <email@example.com>
I think your depiction of Our Lady is beautiful,
tasteful and contemporary, fit for the enlightened view of women that now
prevails throughout the western world. She is truly a Blessed Virgin for the
21st Century. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by blue-nosed viejos
and priests who never accepted Vatican II, nor any of those old church ladies
of our mother's generation who have been so brainwashed by the Church that
they are incapable of perceiving Our Lady as anything but an icon.
True Catholics are not supposed to worshop Our
Lady. She was/is the Mother of God, not a god herself. But she is held in
the highest regard by Mother Church, the only woman not considered a "vessel
of sin", cursed from birth to be impure and unfit for anything but housekeeping
and childbearing. One wonders how many of those pedophilic priests who've
been in the headlines for abusing their young charges have ever lain with
a woman before taking their vows; how many of them truly love their own mothers,
let alone Jesus' mother, and how do they relate to their female parishioners--as
people or as "unclean vessels"?
Viva la Virgen!! Y la artista! As a Born Again
Catholic (who hopes to see female priests in my lifetime) and a proud Latina,
I urge you not to lose hope. We are with you, Hermana!
LATIN FROM MANHATTAN
Subject: File this under "support for the
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 15:40:12 -0300
From: Alain Chabot <firstname.lastname@example.org>
just in case anybody wants credentials: I am a 50 year old heterosexual white male raised as a catholic, but a long term atheist.
I happen to think that artists have the right
to express themselves. Period.
Not quite. As they see fit. Now add the period.
Prudes can always look the other way. Where
is the guarantee that nothing _I_ object to will be produced? It's not as
if I didn't have to put up with all the idiots thanking god for preferring
their team over the other team :)
And by the way it is a beautiful image. Nude
bodies are inherently beautiful. Even when obviously in erotic poses (not
the case here).
Anyway, I am rambling (as usual my wife would
Subject: cHICANo aRT 101.... "oUR lADY"
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 11:42:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: Soul Garcia <email@example.com>
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FRESNO fOR OuR
cHIcANO arT cLaSS (pROFESSOR DR. JUAN FELIPE HERREREA) wE hAD To dO A lITTlE
reAcHER on "ouR lAdY". aFTER sEEING yOUR pOINT OF vIEW aND tAKING
a VerY gOOD lOOK aT yOUR wORK... i aDMIRE yOUR cOURAGE. i tHInK yOU mAKE mE
pROUd TO bE a chICANA... tO sTAND uP fOR wHAT i bELIEVE iN... tO iDENTIFY
mYSElf CON lA VIRGEN.
vERY gOOD wORK
Subject: que suerte!
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 12:57:45 -0600
From: Jerry Medrano <MedranoJX@ci.el-paso.tx.us>
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>
I just read an article on CNN.com on your work.
Congratulations on gracefully weathering the controversy and other "bad
vibes" re: your piece, Our Lady. I think you're making bold and NECESSARY
statements on how society at large perceives Latinas, Catholicism in context
to Chicanos/as, and most importantly, Latinas can re examine themselves (through
technology, especially) and liberate themselves from the stereo/typical roles
imposed upon them by stringent sociocultural mores that affect both Latino
and Angloamerican cultures...
I wish you continued success. If ever you're
in the area, please pop in and say hello. iSiguele fuerte!
Assistant Curator, El Paso Museum of Art
PS I met you a couple of years ago @ the INBA Museum in Juarez, when you won their Siqueiros-Pollock art competition. Keep up the good work!
Subject: Re: *Our vains/veins have been slashed*
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 13:26:30 -0600
From: "Barrio Warrior" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,czumwalt@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
yeah, your right...................I shouldn't
be so graphic, but to be honest with you, I have seen the vains of our youth
slashed in real life.................and this whole Alma Lopez collage ordeal
feels like a deep cut on my veins/vains.......the comparison of pain is not
a joke for me and/or for my gente y raza............it is just the way it
is..........but for me, the most focus that I want to pursue is to find
a way to bring peace into my varrio..........there is alot of gente y raza
who don't know the consequences and ramifications of what is happening in
my varrio over this collage.
Yeah, we do have some *experts* gente y raza "who think" they have a good grasp to this issue and claim to champion the issue, but they are mistaken. Some even think this issue will eventually go away, become history and just be another chapter to a story. I don't think so because of the adverse and negative impact that it has done to our gente y raza in Northern New Mexico. I guess the scars of pain and hurt over this cultural/religion issue will not easily go-away.......................bueno, take care and the flame is still on................Jose
Subject: Folk Art
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 15:43:38 -0400
From: "Louise Pfau" <email@example.com>
How sad someone like you to have "God"
given talent and defile as you have "Our Lady of Guadalupe". Why
would you or anyone else defile a religious figure. You certainly did not
intend to complement or pay homage to our Lady. Why not use yourself or one
of your "significant other" counterparts. You could have titled
your "art" as "Alma of Guadalupe!"
L. A. Pfau
Subject: our lady
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 12:52:11 -0700
From: "Bernard Garcia" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hello I was at your web site and saw your art
work, I beleive that you have the right to express one self. It was very moving
and very wow. I really enjoyed your use of digitally enhancing your body onto
the art work, I did not care for the nude photo at the bottom of the page
and did not see the symbolyism in it. Other than that I thought it was a beautiful
piece of art
Thank you Bernard
Subject: Joyce Ice/ Tom Wilson/Alma Lopez
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 15:16:42 -0500
From: "Bordac, Bill (MBLA cs)" <Bill.Bordac@us.millwardbrown.com>
To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,"'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,"'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Ms. Ice:
I am glad to hear that the museum's committee
has rightfully decided not to remove Alma Lopez' "Our Lady" from
display over the recent hubbub. However, I find your decision to close the
entire exhibit early "in the spirit of reconciliation" to be spineless
and counterproductive to efforts to maintain freedom of speech. Shame on you.
Kowtowing "in the spirit of reconciliation" is analogous to saying,
"you know, you have a valid point after all!" Archbishop Sheehan
most certainly does not have a valid point. Just as he is wrong to imply that
any and every women in a bikini is a prostitute, he is also wrong to imply
that art, even if it were sacrilegious, should not and cannot be displayed
in public. He has no more right to demand you remove that painting than I
do to demand you remove your bikini. It is greatly disappointing to supporters
of freedom of speech that you caved.
And while I'm on the subject of weak stances,
Mr. Tom Wilson was quoted thusly: "The committee's recommendation will
stand unless it's appealed." What positive reinforcement! Your committee
sure sounds tough! I wouldn't want to mess with them!
I will let the two of you share my "Chicken
of the Week" award.
Subject: RE: Sensitivity & Courage
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 15:17:40 -0600
From: "May, Laura" <LMay@moifa.org>
To: "'Bordac, Bill (MBLA cs)'" <Bill.Bordac@us.millwardbrown.com>, "Wilson, Tom" <TWilson@mnm.state.nm.us>, "Ice, Joyce" <JIce@moifa.org>
CC: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,"Nunn, Tey" <TMNunn@moifa.org>
Dear Mr. Bordac:
Thank you for sending your comments to the Museum of International Folk Art.
The digital collage Our Lady by Alma Lopez will
remain in the Cyber Arte: Tradition Meets Technology exhibition.
The Museum of New Mexico Sensitive Materials Committee was implemented before the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) to provide a process for the return of culturally sensitive material to tribal governments and individuals. The fact that an appeal process exists should not be construed as a lack of commitment or "spine" on the part of the Committee. This committee began the process of reviewing and returning objects well before NAGPRA passed; providing a working model for how to fairly implement the procedures for the return of historical and archaeological material. The appeal process provides a vehicle for multiple groups or individuals claiming cultural patrimony to present additional information for the committee to consider. The findings of the committee in this instance are available on the Museum of New Mexico website http://www.museumofnewmexico.org < http://www.museumofnewmexico.org >
I hope this has illuminated part of the issue that may have been absent from the article you read. Compromise has been described as a process resulting in the equal dissatisfaction of both parties. Personally, I think it takes a good deal of courage to make the first gestures for compromise. Therefore, I hope you won't mind if I join Mr. Wilson and Dr. Ice in sharing your "Chicken of The Week" award.
Thank you again for your comments.
Laura M. May
Special Events Coordinator
Museum of International Folk Art
Subject: our lady
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 15:19:29 -0500
From: Norma Gonzalez <email@example.com>
The Virgin has no owner. No religion exists that can claim exclusive ownership over her as a symbol. Her image has been seen everywhere on tattoos, posters, cups, t-shirts, cars and many other places. She has become an image of popular culture just like Che Guevara, Subcomandante Marcos, Emiliano Zapata and Frida Kahlo this in turn makes this image open to be interpreted in many different ways. Artists have taken advantage of that and have demonstrated that in their work. I think you have done a great job in depicting the Virgin.
Subject: in support!
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 16:42:42 -0400
From: "Marten, Jessica" <jmarten@mag.Rochester.edu>
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>
It is shocking that in this day that the female body continues to be demonized. I think your courage should be applauded. PLEASE continue to assert your right to portray women through a woman's vision!
Subject: our lady
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 14:03:55 -0700 (PDT)
From: Xica Dificil <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Alma Lopez,
I am writting to tell you that I think your
work is great. I think you should be able to do whatever you please and no
one should say what you can or cannot display in a mesuem. You have my support.
Silvia I. Gonzalez
Subject: Our Lady
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 17:06:10 EDT
I support what you are doing and find that this
particular art piece is not offensive at all. I find great stregnth
in what you are doing. I am a Chicana who is glad that the Virgen of
Guadalupe is being seen in a new light. I have finished an art piece
that also has the Virgen in different view. I would have attached a
picture but I do not own a scanner. My picture is of the Virgen in a
zoot suit considering that women of today wear suits proudly, I
am emailing you to tell you that your work has not gone unappreciated.
Subject: I like it!
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 14:17:29 -0700
From: "Ernesto A Carrion Jr." <email@example.com>
Dear Alma Lopez,
If I understand this correctly the whole world
is in an up roar because you depicted yourself as the virgin Mary that was
somewhat nude with a nude woman with big breasts poping out. I LIKED IT! I
thougth it was well done, I thought it was a change from the old, and I don't
see what all the porblem is. True, the virgin Mary is a figure that should
be respected and loved but I am sure she can defend herself when she needs
I would never buy your work for one it might
be too expensive and two it would not go with my house and three I am not
big into paintings but I would support your right to keep it, I would support
your right by buying one and giving it back to you because I don't need it.
But I guess the biggest support I can give you is that I don't see anything
worng with the painting. So keep painting, show a little of your own skin
rather than the half naked lady on the bottom, that would have been more artistic.
Side note: if you want to be more contraversial
have the same painting and rap your self with an American or a Mexican flag.
(if you did an American flag it would be covered under freedom of speech and
could not be taken down.)
Subject: Our Lady
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 14:18:08 -0700 (PDT)
From: Albert Gonzalez <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hello, how are you doing. I don't think that
you know me, but I got on to your web-site. Hey I think that you have guts
to do on what you did to the Virgin Mary. If you feel that you needed to express
your self in that way. I respect you, not only are you fighting for what you
believe in, but you are also fighting the Church. You do have a point, about
the nude male angels. I always thought that in heaven there was neither a
male or female angel. But I guess everyone has their own view on religion.
My only advice for me to you is to keep on doing on what you love the most
and don't let no one chatter your dreams. Keep them alive by doing art! Well
thats all I gotta say. I would appreciated if I got an e-mail back!
from Alberto Gonzalez
Subject: Your Picture
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 14:32:54 -0700
From: Laura Ramos <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Hi Alma, as an assignment to my class I had
to look at your picture and tell you what I think.
Personally, I don't like it, but don't get me
wrong I like what you are doing but I am very religious and think that a womens
body is precious especially the virgen Mary. I the picture I like several
things, what I dislike the most is the girl you have at the bottom. I like
what you did with the azted calendar and the tufness you can see on your face.
The flowers around you remind me of Adam and
Subject: "Our Lady" controversy
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 21:43:07 -0000
From: "Jacob Moraga" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I feel the controversy surrounding your piece
of artwork is uncalled for in America, the land of freedom of expression.
As a student in California, I feel the photo does justice for the modern women.
I can also see how religious groups can be upset also. They must not have
a taste for art ant the meaning behind artwork. I am an artist myself and
I feel the work is excellent. It is a form of expression that no one can fully
relate to but the artist him or herself. I applaud your persistent backing
of your artwork. No one should be able to dictate what kind of work you should
create. The Catholic church needs to realize that your work is not sacreligious
but a testament of your adoration for the Virgen de Guadalupe.
I just hope that people in the world today realize
that art is a form of expression. People do have a right to their opinion
but as long as it does not create bigotry or threats towards the original
I am glad that your piece of work has gotten
so much acclaim. The popularity has been the topic of lectures in some of
my Social Studies classes. I bet you never thought the peice would have gotten
this much attention.
Good Luck and keep on creating art that has
a mind of its own because I sure will too.
Jacob Moraga (CSU Fresno)
Subject: Re: Museum of New Mexico Decides on
Cyber Arte Show
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 18:47:14 EDT
To: email@example.com, Techna@webtv.net,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.orgThanks to
CultureNet and to all of those who have supported
Moifa. This whole thing has been so crazy. On the one hand it is great, more
people probably went to see our show, but on the other hand, it also sucks
that it is coming down early, i can understand how hard it was to make that
decision, but i am disapointed.
I hope that everyone who has shown their support,
will continue to do so, and be vocal and active. Gee, how i have learned to
shed my own land of manana mentality. This will effect the state and its artists.
Just in the last week i have heard from artists
(in different instances) who have said that Albuq. museums will not show work
that may seem controversial and the Hispanic Cultural Center board would like
to review the work before the shows are hung. If curators can't do their jobs
or are not trusted, what is the point? I am sure if Villegas curated a show
based on his ideas and activism, i may be ofended, but I would choose not
The opening day of the show, was filled with
It was the first time i had met the other artists.
We immediatly hit it off. As Marion said in a recent email "to let you
all know how honored I feel to be associated with three strong,, insightful,
gifted, women ('Comadres' - kinship of spirit ), whom I feel share in a vision
of spirit, culture, "fe" and its transformation. " The Curator,
Dr. Tey Marianna Nunn, did more than "curate" in the traditional
sense. She worked her magic. (Oh,great the media will probably latch on to
that...and think she is a voodoo princess) There are a lot of Latina "Cyber
chicas" out there, but she brought the four of us together. We have all
been emotionally bruised, but she has taken the brunt of it. She has been
threatened, questioned, and to defend her credentials, ethnicity, her vision,
her soul. Through it all her fight hasn't been just for Alma, or the other
artists in the show. It has been for all Latina, hispanic, chicana, nuevo
mexicana, women and their voice and their future. It is so sad that in 2001,
so many are threatend by this.
Ok, my quick thank you has turned in to a rant...i know.. surprising to those of you who know me... thanks again, CyberArte supporters! --
Subject: Re: Don't burn my home.
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 17:09:56 -0700
From: "Rocio Carlos-Gonzales" <email@example.com>
I am so sorry about all of this. When this whole
thing was starting, I started writing a poem. It's not finished yet, but It
was inspired by (among other things) your amazing work. We all need you.
Please read it (although, it is a bit long).
I am tired of dying Aztec princesses,
body like a mud flap pin-up, outlining a mountainside,
heaving accented breasts cradling
a sleeping doe.
I am tired of dying of
grief waiting for my prince Popo
to come find me,
of turning into quiet snow,
a sleeping beauty,
breathtaking because my eyes
and mouth are closed.
I want to glow with fire and
spit heat every
once in a while, to remind
you, that I am still here
I am still searching, torch in my hand
but nor for love
not for someone who fell asleep in sorrow,
while I was at war
and I have been at war.
I have been dodging arrows
from my brothers,
dodging bullets from the others
I am not safe.
I send los mios like hidden cargo,
I drown in rivers to reach el otro lado
I am part of a long line of women who
bite their lip against the blows of a badge,
Hiding my children in the folds of my dress,
Against paper cuts from voting ballots and other
things that might not endanger you.
I am not safe.
In my own land
I can be stolen, made someone elses.
Someone is my dueño, someone makes me suya.
I have to ignore the hisses and when I walk,
have to teach my daughters to ignore it too,
until we are too old to be mamacitas
and are simply viejas.
Los hijos de la chingada
forget that I am la chingada, I am their kin,
and I am forcible entered, like
an alien world,
like a place across the sea.
Unless, of course, I am
a mural, a tattoo, an amulet.
If I were you
Hail Mary, full of grace.
Dios te salve, Maria,
Why is it that I must be you
in order to keep your sons from hurting me,
Eyes downcast and hands together?
Why does my belly have to swell
Even as my knees touch,
As if Ive been hiding feathers,
As if I have swallowed jade,
So that my own daughters scorn me
As I do you, even as you are my greatest love?
I want to be a running virgen,
Laces untied, hand in a fist,
Mouth widening in a carcajada,
The most soulful kind of laughter.
I want to be the virgen dressed in
roses, showing skin,
hands on my hips, legs
apart, steady gaze saying,
Someone put that on a wall,
On a gold chain
On their backs in ink
On the hood of their car,
Because I am tired of airbrushed low riders,
Of firme jainas leaning over a pool table
Pulled down by the weight of her
(again) heaving accented breasts
Feathered bangs tumbling over her shoulders,
Disappearing in the glint of the sun, blinding me
from seeing any reflection.
It makes me feel like I have lost my glasses,
and I have to squint to see anything,
It makes my head hurt,
But it does not make me sad
It makes my heart tired of being angry.
When I look at the chrome,
Just for once,
I want to see myself.
Subject: our lady
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 21:01:50 EDT
I am an artist and was raised Catholic, went
to schools plastered with traditionally accepted images of the Virgin. I first
viewed your work in an Internet discussion forum. When I read some of the
responses to it I could not believe the ignorance. I think your work personifies
feminine strength and beauty and I welcome an image of the Virgin relevant
to modern times rather than the thousand-year-old, solemn images I was taught
I will defend it to loud-mouthed Bible-thumpers so eager to be offended by something that they completely overlook any artistic merit.
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 20:33:59 -0600
From: "Robert" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
How can a 2 piece swim suit show the Virgin
Mary as a "Strong, independent Woman?" I don't see any connection
whatsoever. Your talent surely could have been seen another way, I believe
in your fight for whatever, but not in this way. Now so many people have heard
of Alma Lopez, thru our most sacred Mother.
Subject: Comments from another artist
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 23:53:38 -0500
From: "Jeffrey Zumwalt" <email@example.com>
I ran across your "Our Lady" piece and was fascinated by the firestorm that it has created. I have worked as a professional artist (who is incidentally a Christian) for 25 years. Of course I also studied art history so I claim some validity to what I say.
1) Criticism is a cheap gift and those who criticize most probably aren't going to be your clients anyway.
2) It is a shame to judge an artist for any
reason on the basis of one piece of art.
3) There have always been critics...and there
will always be critics...many of whom will find there judgments to be
very embarrassing in the light of history.
4) Those who criticize artists often find themselves
forever portrayed throughout history in compromising positions....that is
not a suggestion, just an observation.
My prayer for you my friend is that you will not let others re-focus your attention away from what the Lord has placed upon your heart. Christianity today has a very poor record for supporting the artists of this generation. But God has not stopped creating, in fact that was the very first thing that He told us about Himself, that He created! So if His Spirit dwells in you.....be like your Father and create.
What I'm saying here may seem strange, but as an artist, I know the sensitivities of the artistic personality and how easily it can be wounded (sometimes even fatally) by unkind words from ones who just don't or won't understand. Your artistic talent is a gift from God, don't let man steal the joy of such a great gift from you.
I would love to see other pieces of your work.