photo provided by www.library.ucsb.edu

Yolanda Lopez

Yolanda Lopez was born in 1942, in San Diego, California. She is known as a great American muralist, painter, educator, film producer, and printmaker. Her work mainly focuses on the experience of Mexican American women and challenges the ethnic stereotypes that are often associated with them. Lopez is best recognized for her Virgin of Guadalupe series, which illustrates the Virgin of Guadalupe in both personal and political terms. Her series attracted admiration from many due to the fact of her “sanctifying” the average Mexican women, although, there were other critics (mainly religious individuals) that objected to the series due to the re-envision of the iconic Virgin of Guadalupe.

Another famous work of Lopez titled Who’s the Illegal Allen, Pilgrim? which highlights an angry man in Aztec attire holding a crumpled up paper titled “Immigration Plans.” This political poster was made in 1978 in a period of debate in the United States that resulted in the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1978. With this particular poster Lopez illustrated that the modern descendants of the Aztecs and their neighbors have the right to immigrate as they please to the United States and Canada because Spain had conquered the majority of the western portion of North America as its territory.

Lopez has also produced two films: Images of Mexicans in the Media and When you Think of Mexico, that challenge how the media protrayed Mexican and other Latin Americans. She has alos created exhibitions and toured nationwide that feature works concerning immigration in the U.S.  

Lopez has also taught art in universities and studios ranging from USCD and UC Berkeley.