My “walking altar” at the Catrina Ball at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana on Saturday, October 12, 2013 honors the short life of fellow Sinaloense performance artist Julia Pastrana. Julia was born in 1834 and died at 26 years old on March 25,1860. She was born with the rare condition hypertrichosis, which covered her body with hair. Internationally, she was displayed as the “Bearded and Hairy Lady.” She was a talented singer, dancer, and fluent in three languages. After death, her husband mummified her to continue profiting from her. Throughout her life and for more than 150 years after her death, she was exhibited as a freak. Darwin called her “the Missing Link,” between apes and humans. Julia was finally buried on February 12, 2013 in Sinaloa, Mexico.
My 19-year-old niece Amber Rios is the model. Special thanks to Rigo Maldonado for organizing the fashion show segment of event, and Elvia Rubalcava Taylor and her niece for donating the quinceañera dress. Special thanks to my team: my spouse Alicia Gaspar de Alba for beard application and choreography; my sister Leti Lopez for dresser support; and my mom, Macrina Lopez for hand sewing rebozo seam after sewing machine malfunctioned and for babysitting Tristan. This project was a family team effort.
On view through January 9, 2015
Queer Santas: Holy Violence at the Doug Adams Gallery, Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education, an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA
March 30–July 20, 2014
Sinful Saints and Saintly Sinners at the Margins of the Americas Exhibition at the UCLA Fowler Museum
Life at the margins in the Americas―borders both physical and societal―inspires sacred figures who walk the fine line between sinfulness and sanctity. In worship and artistic representation alike, such figures both reflect and impact the experiences of those who regularly struggle with complicated economic, political, legal, geographic, gender, and racial realities.
Featuring an array of paintings, sculptures, digital arts, mixed-media works, and site-specific installations, Sinful Saints and Saintly Sinners at the Margins of the Americas examines a series of crucial, and often controversial, divine beings in Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Argentina and the United States. Artists working in both traditional and contemporary genres interpret official and unofficial Catholic saints, martyred folk heroes turned supernatural intercessors, such as the New Orleans’ “Voodoo Queen” Marie Laveau and the “Mexican Robin Hood” Jesús Malverde, and cultural heroes like the Native American deity known as Coyote.
This exhibition brings together works by numerous artists including Evelyne Alcide, Vitor Amati, Edgar Clement, Eduardo Closs, Jeff Cullen, Demián Flores, Harry Fonseca, Judithe Hernández, Ignacio, Leonardo Linares, Carolyn Long, Alma López, Marcos López, Teresa Margolles, Matjames Metson, Delilah Montoya, Engelis Oliveira, María Romero, Renée Stout, and Steven Yazzie.
The Hatchfund Luchadoras Project was incredibly successful. Thank you for all of your support. I am still in the process of sending perks. All supporters are invited to preview the Luchadoras Project in progress at the Zero Down Open Studios on May 31. More information to follow.
LUCHADORAS (Mexican Female Masked Wrestlers) art project will be possible with generous donations made through a Hatchfund fundraiser by the following supporters: Adelina Anthony & Marisa Becerra, Carol Brochin, Antonia Castaneda, Maria Castaneda-Liles, Denise Contreras, Jenniver Doyle, Armando Duron, Maria Figueroa, Aurora Garcia, Trinie Garcia-Valdez, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Ayde Gonzalez, A.Y. Hom, Lindsey Haley, Linda Heidenreich, Alice Y. Hom, Jill Littlewood, Nathaniel Pellman, Emma Perez, Susan Plann, Jessie Reyes, Lizette Sanchez, Cristina Serna, Adriana Silvestre, Judy Sisneros, Rocio Tamayo, Niamh Thornton, Jennifer Tyburczy, Rita Urquijo-Ruiz, Abel Valenzuela, Charlene Villaseñor Black, Liliana Wilson and Anonymous donors.