in Search of their Souls
La Voz de Aztlan
Los Angeles, Alta California - June 4, 2001 - (ACN) Contemporary "chicano art" is increasingly manifesting the deep spiritual void that exists in the USA today. The trend among some chicano artists to denigrate what Mexican culture considers holy is indicative of a loss of soul and of the quest to regain it.
Sigmund Freud proposed that "art" could be explained in terms of the unresolved unconscious conflicts and neuroses of the artist. Freud's protegee, Carl Jung, theorized on the "collective unconscious" of the human race and of racial and ethnic groups. If these two giants of modern psychological thought are correct, the unmistakable conclusion is that chicano artists are suffering from some deeply buried unresolved unconscious conflict or collective neurosis.
Could this chicano unresolved conflict or collective neurosis be the much maligned "pocho syndrome" that is related to the search for identity, the search of the self and ultimately the search for one's soul?
For the purposes of this analysis, let us take the following three examples of chicano contemporary art: 1. Alfred J. Quiroz' "Goddess" 2. David Avalos' "Bullet-Proof Piñata", and 3. Alma Lopez' "Guadalupe in a Bikini". All three pieces of "art" are in one way or another depicting the most revered religious icon of Mexico "La Virgen de Guadalupe" in a sexualized and disrespectful manner.
"Goddess" by Alfred J. Quiroz
no question what Quiroz is associating with "La Virgen de Guadalupe".
His vulgar representation of the "Mexican Holy Mother" is clear.
He is representating "La Virgen" as a mere vagina. To him, the mother
of Jesus is simply a vagina.
"Bullet-Proof Piñata" by David Avalos
David Avalos wrote
to La Voz de Aztlan and described his painting. He wrote "If you look
closely at the 'Bullet-Proof Piñata' youll notice the visual
reference to the vulva and the pattern of Guadalupes aura on the surrounding
surface of lead". Avalos adds "On the left side is what appears
to be a representation of La Virgen de Guadalupe sculpted from engorged erectile
tissue and on the right side a representation of a vulva superimposed on the
aura of La Virgen."
"Guadalupe in a Bikini" by Alma Lopez
The digital image of La Virgen created by Alma Lopez, a chicana lesbian, is one of her lover, Raquel Salinas, in a bikini made of flowers. Instead of the angel at the feet of "Our Lady of Guadalupe", the lesbian artist is depicting herself with bare breasts. The rendering shows a white rose covering La Virgen's vagina. Raquel Salinas calls herself "La Chuparosa" which means "rose sucker" in the Spanish language.