Discussion AContemporary African-American art, Discussion BThe Virgin of Guadalupe & E.10

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Discussion A – Contemporary African-American art

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.

Please read the information provided carefully, and use your own words write about 250+ words to explain and answer the question.

Discussion B – The Virgin of Guadalupe

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 (chapter4 part2, pg. 196)

Bottom left: Yolanda Lopez, Portrait of the Artist as the Virgin of Guadalupe, 1978 (chapter5 pg.253)

Bottom right: Alma Lopez, Our Lady, 1999

What 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?

Please read chapter 5, chapter4 part2 and the information provided carefully, and use your own words write about 250+ words to explain and answer the question.


Both Pacita Abad and Shahzia Sikander are international artists with a widely varying body of artworks. In these two pieces, I Thought the Streets Were Paved with Gold and Pleasure Pillars, they address the experience of moving between cultures in very different ways.

1. What do you see in these artworks? How do you, or can you, relate to them? How do you think they relate to each other and the themes of this class? Use class reading, Chapter 5, to discuss these artworks. Think about the concerns artists who are recent immigrants to the U.S. might express in artworks.

2. Now go online and see if you can find another contemporary immigrant artist working in the United States. Briefly introduce one of their artworks. Where are they from and how do they express their cultural heritage?

Left: 264. Pacita Abad, I Thought the Streets were Paved with Gold, 1991. Pg.290

Right: 265. Shahzia sikander, Pleasure Pillars, 2001. Pg. 291

Please read chapter 5 and the information provided carefully, and use your own words write about 250+ words to explain and answer the question.

chapter 4 part2 passwork: zootsuit

chapter 5 passwork: spiral

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