Artist Ester Hernández



I can talk about the Virgin de Guadalupe because according to art historians mine [La Virgin Defendiendo Los Derechos Humanos] was the very first one who sort of brought her down to earth. Now, of course, every time I turn around I see her, even in tatoo parlors. Its no longer stayed within

"Sunkist" by Ester Hernández

our community, other people have embraced her because they have a need to worship to honor ancestors.

I’ve heard everything from people who wanted to kill me, to people who have thought that I changed their lives. I had given them something to live for, some hope in terms of their own sense of religion, iconography. I have always been taught that I am God, that God is inside of me. So in that way, the Virgin is inside of me. I think my notion of transforming

Virgen Defendiendo los Derechos Humanos

the Virgin is sort of like that–that is me, I am the Virgin. We are all gods, we are all goddesses. The light is not just in heaven, but its on earth. And we are living it.

Ester Hernandez's Aztlán

I created “Libertad” while I was a student at UC Berkeley back in 1976. It was the American Bi-Centennial. So I felt I would be fun to turn that upside down and tell another story in terms not just of the country of the United States but also the statue of Liberty and sort of reclaiming the Americas is how I saw it. So I ended up re-carving the Statute of Liberty into a Mayan sculpture, and I put Aztlán on the bottom, sort of reclaiming the Americas as brown.


  1. Adán Olmedo says

    I teach English in the College of Alameda's Adelante Learning Community, and I want to share my enthusiasm for Hernández's iconographic work. I recently taught her "Sunkist" (which is titled, "Sun Mad" here: to both of my English classes. Comparing the similarities and differences between the "Sunkist" logo and the Sun-Maid logo made for interesting discussion. Given that it is March, what better time to talk *grapes* in the classroom?

    Órale Latinopia! -Adán Olmedo

  2. RAlfka gonzalez says

    she is so nice… always doing so much for new artists… never thinking of her own ego…i hAVE HAD MANY POWER LUNCHES WITH HER! she always tells me about the best art sports… AND DOES SO MUCH FOR THE GAY PEOPLE…LIKE THE ARTISTS IN OAXACA SHE TELLS COLLECTORS ABOUT OTHER ARTISTS… CAUSE SHE KNOWS ONLY SHE CAN PAINT OR DRAW LIKE THAT!!!.. I LOVE HER…

  3. says

    Interesting read! This is the first time I am hearing about the Californian Artist -ESTER HERNANDEZ. After going through the contents of the book “La Virgin Defendiendo Los Derechos Humanos” want to tread it. Is the English copy available?

    • latinopia says

      "La Virgen Defiendo Los Derechos Humanos" is a work of art. You can Google Ester Hernandez and I believe it is available for purchase. Tia Tenopia

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