Isabel Martínez

I started working on the series of “Guadalupe-Tonantzin” with the idea to portray the mixed feelings that I have about this symbol. First of all, I was very disappointed in the way that her image was used in Mexico by the conquerors to control and manipulate native people. And I also wanted to show how the Virgin of Guadalupe in the Chicano/a culture is a positive and very important icon of liberation. In this series I try to show that the Virgin of Guadalupe is a symbol of both continuity and change between the Pre-Hispanic past and the post-Conquest present. The Virgin of Guadalupe is a controversial symbol of passivity and liberation, adaptation and manipulation. Her image reflects the unification of the ancestral and mythological, the religious and the patriotic. My series of Guadalupe represents a repoliticized reconstruction of the hegemonic discourse of the existence and purpose of the virgin in the twentieth century.


The Virgin of Guadalupe is exploring new frontiers, crossing the border. In this case the Virgin of Guadalupe represents illegal immigrants. The metaphor of her nudity is that a nude person is more vulnerable than a dressed one. In other words, immigrants who come illegally to this country are very vulnerable for many reasons; they have to face a different society, language and customs. Furthermore, they are the scapegoats of everything that goes wrong in this society.





V.G. stands for Virgin of Guadalupe, and she represents any woman who has left the passive role that patriarchal society has imposed upon her. In this case the Virgin of Guadalupe is more humanized and she is no longer on her pedestal. Furthermore, the Virgin of Guadalupe is trying to integrate herself in the culture of this society, and understand how media has impacted her followers.





A MI HERMANO (To my brother)

This picture is the representation of a person who cares about the spiritual well-being of humanity. This figure reflects the thinking of the viewer. He is thinking about life, humankind, and the world. He is the connection between the physical plane and the spiritual level.