• Alejandro Castanon

Selena Quintanilla is the New Marilyn Monroe


If you don't know who Selena Quintanilla is by now then stop reading this and go watch Selena the movie.

Then listen to all her records.

Now back to business.

Selena was and still is the reigning queen of Tejano music and dare I say one of the most popular Hispanic Latina figures besides Frida Kahlo of all time. That is saying a lot given how short her career was before that bitch Yolanda gunned her down. In the same class Marilyn and other pop figures have been immortalized by artists all over the world for many years. Selena is now among that class. Murals in Texas and across many southern states have taken Selena art to the next level. If you search "Selena Quintanilla Art" on instagram you will find a wide array of art by artists and fans such as: t shirts, paintings, prints, mugs, jackets, etc. I remember not long ago Stripes (gas stations) was running a limited edition promotion on Selena printed coffee mugs. People went nuts over them. I think thats when I realized Selena was the New Marilyn Monroe.

As a fan and creator of portrait art I'm also a astute observer of cultural phenomenons. Back when Selena was at the height of her fame most people my age were in their early teens. Selena's music was blasted on the radio all the time. Yet we were the only ones to truly enjoy her music. After her death there was a delay of her music reaching further than Texas and Mexico. Yet her memory lived on, and now that I am an adult with children, other fans have turned up the attention on Selena Quintanilla culture once again. Social media has increased the attention percentage exponentially. Her image is now on commemorative products that sell out faster than they can be stocked. Artists are immortalizing her image in ways that Marilyn Monroe were and still are created. What really amazes me is how we choose these icons. Most are chosen based on the way they lived and died, how their lives and art impacted us. For many Selena fans it was about where they first heard her music. Its the nostalgia that touches us. Remember where you were when you first saw the movie, Selena? It's amazing how we all take nostalgia and make it a part of our lives, maybe because we all need help going back to that feeling.

There is a part of me that cringes when I see pop art printed on belts and cheap China made merch. But that's why it's so important as artists that we paint our favorite icons and increase the quality of that representation. We need to be louder than the coffee mugs and more rare. I know my next Selena Quintanilla painting will be epic, we owe her that.

#dayofthedeadart #selena #selenaquintanilla #selenaart #tejanoart

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