Art of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Becoming an Artist: Interview with Lalo Garcia

Published on May 27, 2022

"...we were all born with gifts. Unfortunately, a lot of people cannot find their gift...if we can gift something to our humanity we could change the world. Forget about taking. I’ll go back to Juan Diego. Juan Diego was a humble person. He was a man of service"

Lalo Garcia talks about his artwork "Apparitions of Guadalupe" and explains his inspiration, knowledge of the Virgen of Guadalupe, and the many details and techniques he used in this six piece art. The art talked about in this episode can be found at

Lalo explains how his art style started and how it centers around his faith. In getting to know Lalo we get to know the Virgen Mary and getting to know God. The following are edited short excerpts and an outline of the conversation from this podcast interview.

[00:00:33] You mentioned that you get inspiration from books, music, poetry, and other artwork and in one article about you it mentioned that you have one entire bookshelf on Our Lady of Guadalupe. What were the main things that inspired you in the making of this art “Apparitions of Guadalupe”?

…So I was a dancer for 20 years. I taught Mexican dance for 20 years and in reality I got to know Our Lady of Guadalupe as a dancer and not as an artist…when I begun to research in depth Our Lady of Guadalupe I found myself. I found the Mexican culture. I found the whole essence of the Mexican history…so through dance all the research that I did to create a 15 minute suite so that I can compete for the Olympics, that changed my life. And then that was the reason that I created this pieces in this particular style…

[00:06:37] For this particular art piece what was the time span from when you did your research to when you completed it?

Well, you go from ‘84 to 2000. Every artist, and when I say an artist I’m talking about sculptors, poets, musicians, you name it, the real goal for us is to come up or somehow develop a particular style that can identify yourself when all of a sudden there is no signature needed in the piece of work so that people can know that. And it is very, very difficult. I mean, extremely difficult. I can only say a miracle happened here in my studio for me to develop this style. Not only that it satisfies me, that I enjoy it, but that it is embraced by the market. And in my particular case it is embraced by the church…

[00:08:41] I noticed that you kept the characters confined to Juan Diego, his uncle, and Mary. What made you decide to include them and exclude others?

It was just trying to illustrate the dialogue that went on between Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego. That’s really the main focus of the apparitions is the dialogue that they had, what she needed from him…

[00:14:48] I noticed that in the very first piece Mary isn’t even in the image.

…One of the things is Juan Diego was already a Christian, okay. Juan Diego had been baptized 7 years before he actually met Our Lady. So he was already a Catholic. So he was on his way to Mass and as he was crossing Tepeyac Hill he heard the singing of birds and he stopped. And he was looking up in the sky listening to the music. This is why there is no image there yet. Because she hadn’t appeared to him yet…

[00:17:33] And for me thereafter, Mary, she’s there but she’s kind of like in the background.

Yeah, Juan Diego is always in the first plane…one of the reasons that I wanted to make him, to put him in the first plane it was so that to make it look like we’re standing next to him…We’re accompanying Juan Diego…so that we can somehow become him. He’s talking to her but we’re talking to her. We are the Juan Diegos.

[00:20:51] I took from this sequence, the gradual unveiling of the Virgen of Guadalupe, as a suggestion to spend time with Mary.

…my only mentor Frank Martinez, who I spent about 16 years having coffee Tuesdays and Thursdays and just talking. And he was really the one who helped me develop this style, the use of lines…You need people that sometime make a comment and might not mean a lot at that moment but then later on you medidate on it…and another friend of mine who is a journalist, when she saw the work she said, ‘you’re doing exactly the same thing we do in journalism. Less is more’…I’m just introducing you to a theme or to a subject matter but then it’s really open for you to look at it and either research it or just find the connection…

[00:28:43] What is another thing in this art piece that people may not be noticing or should be noticing?

…this one is just at the start…it was trying to introduce the new generation once more to the apparations…

[00:34:06] The way you kept it simple you kept things the way you did does create that meditative space to dive right in.

Or just simply next year just go to any parish on December the 12th and join…just stand in the plaza or go to Mass and just look around and feel the energy of people and just get immersed into the celebration…

[00:36:59] What is one scripture verse or part of the bible that really resonates with you? Why?

…you probably see it in a lot of the paintings, ‘Non fecit taliter omni nationi’ which means ‘he has not done so for any other nation.’ It’s a psalm [Psalm 147:20] that has now become part of the image…and by that phrase I’ve always felt protected that she is looking after all of the American continent and that she will always be protecting me…

[00:38:25] What is one word or couple of words that you would like God to use in describing you?

Compassionate and understanding…we’re missing that in the world a lot. A lot…if we would just understand a little bit each other. Look at the similarities and not the differences we would embrace each other because we’re all humans…

[00:39:12] Is there anything else you would like to add, you would like to promote or would like others to support?

…we were all born with gifts. Unfortunately, a lot of people cannot find their gifts…if we can gift something to our humanity we could change the world. Forget about taking. I’ll go back to Juan Diego. Juan Diego was a humble person. He was a man of service…

Tags: Art, Mary
Jesus Christ is fully alive today in people. The 1 Christian 1 Topic podcast highlights the many Christian voices and their work in these one-on-one interviews. We cover one topic with one guest spanning various people and topics like music, art, writing and more. Subscribe at Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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