Date: 5/24/01
Time: 7:31:24 PM

Dear Santa Fe Scene,

My name is Luisa Martinez and I am originally from South America, my religion is catholic and it doesn't matter if I am a practicing catholic or not but I still respect the beliefs of others. I do not think that the so-called artist Alma Lopez has the right to deface the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe; I don't know where she got that ugly figure and face for the virgin, if she wanted to do something original, it seems to me she should be doing something more productive like painting the outside of her house. I hope I am sending this mail to the right people. Thanks.

Luisa Martinez.


Response from Santa Fe Scene Guest Art Editor, Carmen L. Rodriguez:

Dear Ms. Martinez:

Regarding your comments on the artwork by artist Alma Lopez:
I, too, am upset in the manner of discussion and misrepresentation of OUR Lady of Guadalupe and the true women. As an artist myself, I tried to be objective in this controversial subject and look at the "Cyber Art" from an artist's point of view. Does it contain all the elements of design and creative thought? Yes, the depiction does contain those elements, but that will never be noticed, only because the artist places far more value on its "Shock Value."

Unfortunately, our society does not encourage or recognize artists for visual quality and performance in their struggle to create great works of art unless some kind of shock value is installed in their work.

Recently the Museum of New Mexico's Committee on Sensitive Materials decided that Our Lady would, at least for the time being, remain on display at the Museum of International Folk Art. I had hoped and prayed that the committee would be in favor of removing Alma Lopez' artwork.

I would like to share something that I noticed this past weekend. Something so simple, so subtle, so beautiful that only our Virgin Mary could convey to us. That is her image of the Guadulepana is everywhere here in Santa Fe. The image is depicted in various works of art, from bottle caps, clocks, paingings, postcards, etc. Maybe it is Her way to remind us not to take Her for granted and to pray to her. I just wonder.

Carmen L. Rodriguez Guest Art Editor


Date: 8/28/01
Time: 12:48:18 AM

The art work depicting the Virgin of Guadalupe in a floral "bikini" is not all that upsetting or shocking. I was raised Catholic and I am sensitive about intentional negative statements about any religion or spiritual beliefs but I cannot understand the hysteria and uncharitable attitudes and actions which have been directed at this work of art and the artist.

I think she looks pretty good in a bikini like many women do and the flowers are very tastefully designed. What's the big deal? If the Virgin was alive today she might wear an outfit at least as revealing. Would we be shocked and insulted? No.

My conclusion is that it has been very politicized and people have been lead like sheep to believe that it is much more disgraceful than it really is. This is very unfortunate and uncalled for.