Critics say photo is all wet
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The archbishop of Santa
Fe apparently feels strongly that clothes make a woman. He says a bikini-clad
version of the Virgin Mary shown in a folk art museum depicts her "as
if she were a tart" and should be removed.
But Alma Lopez, the Los Angeles artist who designed
the photo collage on a computer, says she doesn't see what's offensive about
showing the Virgin of Guadalupe as a modern woman, "a strong woman, like
The regents of the Museum of New Mexico in Santa
Fe this week began considering whether to remove the work from the state-funded
Museum of International Folk Art but ended up postponing the meeting because
there was not enough room to hold everyone who wanted to comment.
The collage depicts Mary in a midriff-baring
two-piece outfit covered with flowers. Mary stands barefoot, hands on hips
with elbows akimbo and chin up in a pose that could be interpreted as a defiant
Archbishop Michael Sheehan said he found Lopez's
image insulting and expressed frustration with Catholic images being singled
"No one would dream of putting Martin Luther King in Speedos and desecrating his memory by putting him in some outlandish outfit. I wouldn't want anyone to do that," Sheehan said.