Thursday, May 24, 2001

Bikini-clad Virgin of Guadalupe stays in N.M. exhibit

The bikini-clad image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Our Lady, a collage by lesbian artist Alma Lopez, will remain in the exhibit “Cyber Arte: Tradition Meets Technology,” according to the BBC. The image has been drawing fire from local Catholics ever since it was added to the exhibit at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, N.M., and has been labeled both offensive and sacrilegious by protesters. The artwork, whose subject wears a two-piece swimsuit made of flowers, has been exhibited elsewhere without inspiring controversy. The board of the Museum of New Mexico decided that the image will stay, although the exhibit itself will be cut short. Lopez says she is pleased with the compromise: “I almost see it as the only fair decision for them, to acknowledge that some people in the community were offended but that the work needed to remain on exhibit.” The exhibit will end in October as opposed to the previous schedule date next February.