My older sister was named Maria Auxiliadora, after the Virgin Mary. Maria is a very predictable name for a Latina, but my mom named her that because she was in a near-fatal car accident when she was pregnant with her firstborn, so she promised la virgen that if she and her baby survived, she’d be forever grateful. To this day, she is a devout Catholic. Me, I’m more spiritual, but that’s another story for another day.I recently received an email from an artist who did a whole collection of Madonnas (as in the mother of Christ, not the queen of pop). Cristina Acosta was born in L.A. to an Anglo American mom and Mexican American dad. Her paternal roots date back to New Mexico in the late 1500s. Growing up, she says she was always fascinated by that side of her family tree.
Her Madonnas (my favorite of which is “La Sirena Verde,” which Acosta painted for her sister to celebrate her recovery from cancer) are painted with oil, sterling silver, copper, gold metal leaf, and inlays of antique, gold-glazed ceramic tiles. They often delve past the dawn of Christianity and also represent the earth religions of the Native Americans. . . . READ MORE at Latina