Yolanda Lopez, an artist who celebrated working-class women, has died at 78

She was praised for her portrayal of the Virgin de Guadalupe as a feminist superhero, a young, strong, and brown woman wearing running shoes.

An undated photo of Yolanda Lopez, activist and artist. Her most well-known work, "Portrait of the Artist and the Virgin of Guadalupe," is a book on feminist history and Chicano arts. It has also been featured on T-shirts, tattoos, and other publications. Credit... Alexa Trevino

Sept. Sept.

Yolanda Lopez was an activist and artist who made one of the most iconic Chicano artworks by boldly casting the Virgin of Guadalupe as her own image. She was a strong, young, brown woman with running shoes and a big grin. Yolanda died in San Francisco on September 3. She was 78.

The cause was complications of liver cancer, said her son, Rio Yanez, who is also an artist.

Lopez created many other types of artwork, including conceptual art installations as well as posters. However, her 1978 painting "Portrait of the Artist, Virgin of Guadalupe" remains her most beloved and widely reproduced. It has appeared as a cover in Chicano anthologies (feminist histories), art books, and even in Chicano art books. It has appeared on T-shirts as well as tattoos. Along with similar work by Ester Hernandez and Patssi Vallejo, it inspired younger Latina artists to rethink this Roman Catholic icon, which depicts the Virgin Mary as a vision popular among Mexicans.

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