April 30, 2001


Subject: Re: [AztlanNet] "pobre pedro"
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 01:02:46 -0600
From: "rudy fernandez" <elbulldog69@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com


As I remember, the request was to post some of your current art and information about current museum shows or show in the near future.Your criticism sounds a little too much like sour grapes.

When I read your postings concerning Alma's Virgin, they feel like they are personal attacks rather than constructive criticism.Your use of the term "real art" as a criticism doesn't really give me a lot information about why you seem to disqualify her work from that category. You call it poster art, for what reason, because the image  is computer manipulated or because it disagrees with your personal sensibilities? Comparing her work to that of Ana Mandieta or Kiki Smith, that's like comparing apples to oranges. They are two totally different things.

I resent the air of expertise with which you address Chicana Feminism. Pedro we are men, we are never going to be able to understand that movement to the extent that a Chicana is able.

In regard to your reference to my defense of Alma's work from your destructive criticism as being a "pobre yo" defense, I once defended your work in much the same manner when I served on the Foundation Board at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe. If that is the way that you want to refer to it, so be it.

In the past few weeks I've discussed this issue with Luis Tapia, Mark Spencer and a number of other notable Santa Fe artists and what I've learned is that they do not share your opinion, not one of them. That is why I am puzzled in regard to which community you are speaking of  when you mention their feelings and politics. Unless of course you do not consider the afore mentioned to be a part of the community.

Pedro, in your closing statement you indicate that you are ready to defend your work against any valid criticism. Validate your criticism of Alma's art from the criteria of artistic nomenclature, not from the point of religious zeal. I'm still interested in see your current work.


El Bulldog


Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 12:56:26 +0000
From: Octavio Romano <oromano@tqsbooks.com>
Reply-To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
Organization: TQS Publications
To: "aztlannet@egroups.com" <AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com>=====================


by Octavio Romano

Flash! 1521: Invading Spaniards destroy the art of the Aztecs

Flash! 2001: Invading California Artists destroy Hispano Folk Arts in New Mexico.


The so-called Cyber Arte on exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of International Folk Arts is referred to by the museum staff as "Tradition meets Technology." This title is no more than the work of a verbal contortionist trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

By no stretch of the wildest imagination can the flower bedecked nude religious virgin of Guadalupe be called folk art, no matter how presented. Within all public accounts of MOIFA's charter there exists no clear-cut authority to palm-off as folk art such highly expensive digital works, hence, the verbal contortions.

Conveniently overlooked in all public statements by the curator, and the artist, is the fact that the work now on exhibit at MOIFA is but one of a similar series which depict the Virgin of Guadalupe in various romantic poses with mermaids. One, in particular, is titled, "Lupe (nick name for the Virgin of Guadalupe) and Mermaid in Love." They are embracing.

It appears that the work by Alma Lopez is but an administrative wedge to introduce California lesbian art into the context of Northern New Mexico's folk culture.

Small wonder the reaction, while the administrator and the artist who are responsible, express surprise and astonishment.

It appears that the curator administratively responsible for this cultural fiasco is out of touch with the realities which surround her, no matter what her credentials. Either that, or her actions reflect a public abuse of administrative authority in the interest of personal values.

For me, and for so many others who have lived in New Mexico, as well as for the Hispanos of the north, the Hispanic wing of the Museum has always given me and others a warm feeling of welcome, a feeling of belonging, a feeling of pride, and satisfaction because the folk arts of Northern New Mexico have given me and us the only expression of U.S. Hispanic arts which have become world famous.

I am not ashamed to say that now, " I weep at its portending destruction by insensitive administrators and California artists."

Octavio Ignacio Romano-Vizcarra
B.A. UNM, anthropology
M.A. UNM, anthropology
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley.
Senior Editor: TQS Publications.


Subject: Our Lady of Guadalupe
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 06:58:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Maria Gonzalez-Escareno <mgescareno@yahoo.com>
To: almalopez@earthlink.net

Dear Ms. Lopez,

I am a Mexican-American woman born in the U.S. and raised in the conservative border town of Laredo. My
parents were both born in Mexico and therefore, I was raised in a conservative, Catholic family. My roots are deeply Mexican, and I have never identified myself with the Chicano culture as much as I have with the cultura Mexicana. It seems to me that you have taken Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe as a symbol of Chicana power, and completely debased her blessed, holy status as mother of Jesus Christ and Patron Saint of los Mexicanos. I do not intend to offend your artwork; i encurage you to continue your career and wish you success as a Mexican artist in the U.S. I do, however, feel that this particular painting is offensive to any Catholic Mexican that revers La Virgen de Guadalupe in their prayers. She is seen as a mother by millions. Please, do not intend to transform the most revered and holy symbol of Mexico into a Chicana, brown-power icon. Gracias.

Maria Gonzalez-Escareno


Subject: Your picture
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 09:25:30 -0600
From: "GTE Lab" <gtelab@cybermesa.com>
To: almalopez@earthlink.net

Dear Ms. Lopez,

We sent the following letter to the editor of the New Mexican this morning.  I wanted to send you a copy in case they don't print it, so that you know that your supporters are active!.

Frances Wilmeth

Dear Editor,

We have two questions for those who feel that the picture of the Virgin by Alma Lopez, hanging in a quiet gallery in the Museum of International Folk Art is sacrilegious. Why is it not sacrilegious to use a picture of Jesus to prop open the hood of a car, as we saw on the front page of the paper on Monday morning, April 30? One page four, there is a representation of the Virgin. She is tattooed on the arm of a young man wearing a team-numbered muscle shirt, surrounded by cars and large Coke cups. Is this an appropriate way and place to display the Virgin, especially on a Sunday, when one would expect the truly devoted to be in church and not at a Low Rider Show?

Kim Aeby and Frances Wilmeth

Subject: Re: [CHICLE] website
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 09:49:56 -0700
From: "Harold Salas-Kennedy" <KENNEDY-H@sa.ucsb.edu>
To: <almalopez@earthlink.net>

Helllo Alma. I have been following all this from the beginning. You have my support. I admire you and your wonderful work. Pablo Garcia and I met to discuss your work. I wish you the best....


Subject: [AztlanNet] FWD: message from Carla Lopez
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 15:14:01 -0700 (PDT)
From: gbejarano <aztlannet@yahoo.com>
Reply-To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
To: Monitor AztlanNet <aztlannet@yahoogroups.com>

Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 14:24:03 -0600
From: Carla Lopez <carla@niti.org>
To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: Alma Lopez [AztlanNet]

Rudy y 'pobre yo' Pedro, Carla Lopez here. 

I doubt that Alma Lopez or any other artists have a problem with critical words about their work.  Like you said, "it comes with the territory."  But Pedro, to me your words go beyond critique.  They are painful.  Those rocks you are throwing hurt.  The entire list has heard over and over that in your own perspective you do not find value in Alma's work.  Many others of us here in SF find the image nurturing and refreshing.  I am not an artist in the same sense as the rest of you on this list but seeing images that tell my own story from a place of ancient truth is fine art in my book.  Let's talk.  Carla   (I also am not related to Alma nor have I even met her)