July 14, 2001

Subject: support
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 05:21:50
From: "alessandra moctezuma" <aztecprincess@hotmail.com>
To: almalopez@earthlink.net

Dear Alma,

I heard about the controversy over your beautiful piece from Richard Lou in San Diego at the beginning of May. I was travelling in New Zealand after that and it wasn't until today that I had a chance to look at your piece and read about the controversy.

I find the controversy both absurd and believable. After working with the many different communities in public art issues I've learned that there's always a chance for someone to be offended, specially when you are dealing with religious images. Look at the scandal at Brooklyn, and I must say that that painting was ugly!!! I would actually have been more offended by that.

I see your piece as a wonderful homage to all the beautiful, powerful, self-sufficient Mexicana mothers. (I also so my mother as a gorgeous and very strong woman). I must admit that I never grew up in a very religious or Catholic household, but the Virgen de Guadalupe was the one image that I respected because it embodied the love and protection of a mother for her children. Of course men can be very threatened by this: first, women hold the power of procreation and are generally the pillars of the family, but now women are also independent and able to choose the type of life that they want. By appropriating both the Virgen de Guadalupe and the traditional pin-up image you give back the power to women that had been taken away by the Catholic church and patriarchal society.

What's tragic is that men have been silencing women for eons in machista societies. We can't let people silence us anymore. I wanted to let you know that I support you and that if there is still time to send letters to the Museum or to be involved in any other way, aqui estoy.

I just got a job teaching at San Diego Mesa College and will be there beginning August 6. (I'm currently spending the summer in Hawaii) I hope that we can get together at some point (I never picked up the print I bought from you).