Galeria de la Raza
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My Life as a Comic Stripper
7/1/1997 - 8/9/1997
Curated by Yolanda Lopez, this exhibit presented work by SF artist Isis Rodríguez who combines la Vírgen de Guadalupe, comic strip characters, and sex workers in intriguing and humorous ways. Rodríguez's work rips apart feminine ideals —such as the Mexican virgin/whore paradigm— and peels away several layers of assumptions and hypocrisy which have accumulated around gender roles.
  Galería Exhibitions Reconstructing Califas: New Roads in Chicano Art <1997>
Growing Into Your Cultural Skin <1997>
Home Grown: The Fields of Califas <1997>
My Life as a Comic Stripper <1997>
My Cathedral <1997>
Día de los Muertos: Recuerdos Electrónicos <1997>
Hecho con Corazón: Bazaar Navideño <1997>
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My Life as a Comic Stripper
Director’s Statement

For more than a quarter-century, Galeria de la Raza has served as a key forum for the exhibition of art which challenges us – Latinos – to look closely at ourselves. It is fitting, therefore, that the Galeria host the first one-person exhibition of artist Isis Rodriguez. It is also fitting that artist Yolanda M. Lopez is the curator. Several years ago, Rodriguez actively sought out Lopez as a mentor, for Lopez’s women-centered art served as an important early inspiration for Rodriguez.

In our first glance at Rodriguez’s work, we re immediately seduced by the humorous and beguiling comic strip format which she utilizes. Upon closer examination, however, we realize that this inviting style is joined to the hard-hitting subject matter of the sex industry and its lure of fast money. Rodriguez’s artwork questions the patriarchal structures which encourage women to sexually objectify themselves and become fodder for what she deems “the pimp lobby.” In some of her pieces, Rodriguez makes La Virgen de Guadelupe a beacon for women’s empowerment, drawing directly from a Chicana symbology originated by artists such as Yolanda M. Lopez and Ester Hernandez.

In her artwork, Rodriguez honestly documents her own struggles with sexual identity and self-esteem – and in the process, she helps re-define feminism for a new generation. Her question of “whether or not, we as women really have control over our lives, and whether we have accepted exploitation as part of our lives” is one which all women should ask ourselves.

I would like to thanks la Galeria staff for their outstanding support with this exhibition, Yolanda M. Lopez for her intelligent curatorial insight, Stuart Sussman for this technical support and of course, Isis Rodriguez for articulating ongoing questions in a new way.

Gloria Jaramillo, Executive Director