Mi Tía Lupe spread her hands and smoothed her bed, which is decorated with her namesake, La Virgen, our lady of Guadalupe. I had witnessed this scene all my life. As the youngest in a family of five children, I got special attention from my Tía. I could do no wrong in her eyes.

This photo is significant for me because it documents my Tia whom I was very close to, and was a second mother to me. She lived across the street from us, and whenever I was in trouble at home I would run to her house for refuge.

This is also the first photograph I made as an art piece, and it taught me the power of photography to stir emotion. My career as a commercial photographer was already established. I started looking at a lot of great photographers, especially Henri Cartier-Bresson and Manuel Alvarez Bravo.

In 1986 I was honored by an invitation from Kathy Vargas curator of visual arts at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center to participate in a group show of images depicting La Virgen. 

I immediately thought of Tía Lupe’s bedspread and I realized that for the first time, my purpose was not defined by a commercial assignment. I was going to contribute to an exhibition of my people’s religious traditions. It was then that I started creating photographs with an artistic intention, capturing images of Mi Cultura.

Tia Lupe

© 2022 by Al Rendon

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Rendon Photography and Fine Art


733 S Alamo · San Antonio, Texas 78205

All photographs on this site are copyrighted by Al Rendon and may not be used without specific written permission. For information about prints or licensing, contact us directly. 

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