Tuesday, May 10, 2011

La Bloga :: Our Lady of Controversy

Our Lady of Controversy
Edited by Alicia Gaspar de Alba
 and Alma López
Review: Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Alma López, eds.
Our Lady of Controversy

by Michael Sedano

The first time I saw Alma López’s take on la Virgen de Guadalupe I laughed at the audacity of the finely crafted photograph. The artist has the goddess proclaim “when all your hieratic stuff is said and done, and you’ve prayed to and idolized me, remember this: I am a woman.”

The woman in López’s photograph poses arms akimbo, head tilted. Her face stares straightforwardly out, unsmiling lips expressing ‘what are you looking at?’ confidence.

Some viewers were looking outragedly at the figure’s floral bikini. Then the naked breasts of the putto at la Virgen’s feet. All Hell broke loose, propelling López to well-earned prominence among American artists, as well as enduring scorn from nattering whatevers.

At the time, López likened the scourging to a 21st century inquisition, cites Alicia Gaspar de Alba, in her introduction to her co-edited collection Our Lady of Controversy: Alma López’s Irreverent Apparition.

The eleven chapters include essays by López and Gaspar de Alba, as well as Tey Marianna Nunn, Kathleen Fitzcallaghan Jones, Deena J. González, Luz Calvo, Clara Román-Odio, Emma Pérez, Cristina Serna, Catrióna Rueda Esquibel.  Read more »

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