Friday, January 14, 2011

Las Virgenes: Visions of Inspiration at the Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture

The Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture 514 South Spring Street
Los Angeles, Ca. 90013 
(213) 626-7600

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday - Sunday
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Closed Monday

In Mexican, Latino and Chicano culture, the Virgin Mary, in particular the Virgin of Guadalupe is a symbol of national and cultural identity. From the miraculous painting of the Virgin presented by Juan Diego in the 16th Century to contemporary interpretations that transform the Virgin to a strong feminine figure, artists have looked to her for inspiration. The Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture in downtown Los Angeles has an excellent exhibition by two artists, Ophelia Esparza and Johnny Nicoloro, who look at the Virgin as both the contemporary interpretation of  modern feminine and the traditional religious symbol that has a strong place in Latino and Chicano culture. Nicoloro uses digital and photographic collage to embrace the image of the Virgin in the everyday. Nicoloro places the image in sites of consumption and consumerism. It is if the Virgin appears in the everyday consumer culture that surrounds us. Esparza's paintings portray the Virgin as both the mother, strong feminine figure and the symbol of devotion that encapsulates the mystical and spiritual mother, the Queen of Heaven. An excellent exhibition of great beauty.  

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Thoughts on Being in the Art World Part 2: Curating the Curated Curator

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