The Franz Mayer Museum in Mexico City is featuring a special exhibition about the Virgin of Guadalupe. The images include primitive figures in carved wood, elaborate paintings and wood carvings from church altars, woven and embroidered textiles, and contemporary 2016 photographs by Federico Gama taken at the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City.
Why am I so taken with this exhibition? Certainly not from a religious point-of-view, but from one interested in the cultural expression of this great nation. The Virgin of Guadalupe is Mexico’s own, personal patron saint.
To me, she is a woman of strength and valor, able to transform and uplift a nation. She is Mother Earth, fertility and blessing. Her figure transcends and tricks the Spanish overlord. She is disguised as and more than the Virgin Mary. Her roots are indigenous. She belongs to the people.
I am also taken with the various artistic expressions of her figure, how she is depicted: from facial expressions, use of color and shadows on the folds of her gown, the portrayal of the angel at her feet, from simple to elaborate. It seems that everyone had their own version of the Virgin of Guadalupe vision.
As my friend, artist Lena Bartula says, In Guad We Trust.
I hope you enjoy this visual expression of Mexican life.