From the Los Angeles Times at
Copyright 2001 Los Angeles Times

Saturday, April 14, 2001

Virginal Revelations
Copyright 2001 Los Angeles Times

I think that the hubbub over Alma Lopez's artwork "Our Lady" at Santa Fe's Museum of International Folk Art is more revealing of the viewers' psychologies and proclivities than it is about the actual image of the Virgin Mary ("Depiction of the Virgin of Guadalupe Stirs Objections," by Hollis Walker, April 4). Despite the repeated references in the article to a "nearly nude Guadalupe," the model in the image is more clothed than many women one encounters in the street these days. What certain of these viewers undoubtedly find so objectionable is the depiction of a Virgin Mary as a strong woman--evidenced by the model's stance: arms on hip, face tilted in a slightly challenging manner--together with her direct gaze, which might seem defiant to those accustomed to the sweet and passive images of the Virgin that have been produced for the last 500 years.
Otis College of Art and Design
Los Angeles

Lopez lacks not only talent but also artistic imagination. Through computer graphics she comes up with a bikini-clad Virgin Mary, thus offending the whole Catholic population and demonstrating her inability to create a genuine piece of art.
North Hollywood

Lopez's depiction of the Virgin is only a personal interpretation. It doesn't have to be interpreted as something demeaning. Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan's description of Lopez's Virgin as "a tart" and "a call girl" diminished his argument by reducing himself to the same level he seems to object to. How dare he call "Our Lady" a tart! Being a Latina and a Catholic, I am extremely disappointed, not by the art, but by his insulting words, which cut deep into my respect for religion.
La Puente

Lopez has never heard of the Kikuyu parable, "Before you discard generations of customs, be sure you replace them with something of value." I don't mind the interpretation, but I resent passing it off as art.
Sun Valley