discussions about african american art and the virgin of guadalupe

discussion A :

Walker / Gericault

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Contemporary artists often explore the concept of artistic appropriation, where one artwork incorporates the imagery of another source to make references to ideas associated with that source. In the magazine cover on the left, contemporary African-American artist Kara Walker appropriates imagery from a famous painting from the canon of European art, Theodore Gericault’s The Raft of the Medusa. What event is Walker portraying (note the date – it marks the two-year anniversary of the event)? Why do you think she makes references to this particular artwork?

Other contemporary Black artists create art addressing current events or activism, such as the Black Lives Matter Movement. For example, some of you wrote papers on the current African-American artist, Titus Kaphar. What issues does he address in his artworks? Be creative! Add other artists or artworks if you wish.

discussion B:

According to Catholic tradition, in 1531 the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared miraculously on the cloak of Juan Diego, an indigenous Mexican peasant after he had a vision of the Virgin Mary, who appeared to him as a dark skinned young woman who spoke to him in his native Nahuatl language. Over the years, her image has become an important symbol not just for Catholics, but for Mexico as a nation, for Chican@s in the United States, and especially for Mexican-American women. Some contemporary Chicana or Latinx artists have incorporated the symbolism of La Virgen de Guadalupe as part of their own self identity.

Top left: Traditional representation of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Top right: Antonio Garcia, La Virgen de Guadalupe, 1946
Bottom left: Yolanda Lopez, Portrait of the Artist as the Virgin of Guadalupe, 1978
Bottom right: Alma Lopez, Our Lady, 1999

4 virginsWhat different meanings are being expressed in these representations of this iconic image? Can you find other examples of contemporary art based upon this famous picture?