Southern Beaufort County's Daily Newspaper 

Artist Lopez defends computer collage of Virgin Mary
The Associated Press

Published Monday, May 28th, 2001

LOS ANGELES - Southern California artist Alma Lopez says she doesn't understand why some people are bothered by her representation of the Virgin Mary.
Her computer collage of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico's national representation of the Virgin Mary, shows a young Hispanic woman covered by roses in a sort of floral bikini. She is supported by a bare-breasted angel.

Some Roman Catholic leaders have denounced the artwork as sacrilegious. There have been demonstrations and protests at the state-run Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, N.M., where the work is on display.

"I see this woman's legs and her belly ... and I don't see anything wrong," Lopez told the Los Angeles Times.

As for the angel, also portrayed by a Hispanic model: "They're just breasts. I have them. Don't rage against the breasts."

Lopez said Hispanic activists have asked her to voluntarily withdraw the work. She has refused.

"It would mean Latinas don't have a right to their own voice," she said.