Maddie Blake is a Studio Art major at BYU. She studied the influence and impact of Mexican art in North American culture. She was one of the recipients of the 2017 Harold B. Lee Library Research Award. Besides research, her project also included travel to Mexico, where she conducted local interviews and visited museums and galleries.
“Culturally we curate our experience to include the most convenient, exciting or beneficial aspects of other countries and peoples often without acknowledging it or acknowledging them. I noticed this first hand when I moved to Los Angeles as a teenager. The city, food, architecture and history were all Spanish but there was still a disconnect between cultures. I’m very interested in the implications of this cultural appropriation especially when it comes to Mexican art and even more specifically religious art.
As a specific example of this I will focus on the famous painting and religious Mexican icon Our Lady of Guadalupe as an example of the appropriation of Mexican art in North American pop culture. It’s fascinating to me that such a holy and religious icon, one to which thousands make pilgrimage every year, has become popular in North American street and skate culture.”