Queer Santas, Holy Violence: Works by Alma López

Tuesday, September 9th 2014 to Friday, January 9th 2015

In Queer Santas, Holy Violence, artist Alma López presented paintings and prints that highlight women and girls persecuted for deviating from societal norms. By presenting the saints and historical figures depicted in these works in comtemporary form, López links them with present day concerns, focusing on the troubling normalization of violence against women.

Alma López weaves together traditional Catholic saints, Mexican folk tales, and Aztec legends to create arresting, richly detailed images. In her Queer Santas series, López focuses on women who were martyred for their refusal to conform to society’s expectations by marrying men; by presenting these saints as modern-day lesbians, López artistically connects the saints’ martrydoms to contemporary social issues. In López’ vision, La Llorona weeps for the murdered girls of Juárez just as, according to the Mexican legend, she laments her own lost children. In this piece, as in others, López reaches back to the Aztec godess Coyolxauhqui, who suffered a violent death and was transformed into the moon. In this body of work, López connects Catholic saints, traditional Mexican stories, and Aztec mythology to craft a powerful message that resonates today.  

In 2018, CARe caught up with Alma -- be sure to read her reflection and updates on the CARe Package Blog!