Virgin of Guadalupe
Guadalupe has been a fascination of mine since I first arrived in Mexico. I am a spiritual person therefore I wanted to learn more about her. I became interested in her story as she is considered the patron saint of Mexico religiously but also seen as a sign of Mexican patriotism.
In 1531 the legend goes that the Virgin Mary appeared to an indigenous man named Juan Diego. She requested that a shrine to her be built on the spot where she appeared to him. Juan Diego told this to the Bishop who demanded a sign before he would approve the building of this shrine. Juan returned to the place he first saw Mary and reappeared to him and ordered him to collect roses which he collected in his cloak. When Juan visited the Bishop again, he opened his cloak letting dozens of roses fall to the floor and revealing the image of Mary imprinted on the inside of the cloak. That cloak is enshrined within the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Each year, as many as 10 million people travel to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
This was a difficult piece for me as the symbolism is intense yet such an interesting story. Each element in the piece has meaning. I chose to frame her in an archway surrounded by roses to symbolize the shrine that was eventually built in her honor. She guided me through to finish the piece and is now one of my favorites.