Kathy Vargas

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Kathy Vargas (born 23 June 1950) is an American artist who creates collages and photographs. She often devotes several works to a particular theme and creates her art in series.[1]


Vargas was born in San Antonio, Texas. She was influenced early on by her Catholic faith, her grandmother's ghost stories and her father's retelling of pre-Columbian history.[1]

Vargas has a BFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1981 and in 1984 received her MFA.

Kathy Vargas currently teaches in the art department at The University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX. She has lectured throughout the United States and Mexico.[1]


Kathy Vargas became interested in the hand-coloured photography around 1970. A few years later, while working on a documentary project about yard shrines in her home town of San Antonio, Texas, she began researching Mexican and pre-Columbian myths and literature, and to produce works based on a photographic 'magic realism' involving layering by multiple exposure and hand colouring (Marshall).

In 1993 she produced a portfolio titled, Revelaciones, and a year later was published in Nueva Luz photographic journal, volume 4#2 (En Foco, Bronx: 1994)

She is interested in "the anatomy of death and the aftermath of everlasting life."[1] Vargas often uses iconography from Aztec art, along with various other cultural and Christian symbols.[1]


  • Vargas, Kathy, and Connie Arismendi. Intimate lives: work by ten contemporary Latina artists. Austin, TX: Women & Their Work, 1993.
  • Muñoz, Celia Alvarez, Chon A. Noriega, José Piedra, Kathy Vargas, and Victor Zamudio-Taylor. Revelaciones = Revelations: Hispanic art of evanescence. Ithaca, NY: Hispanic American Studies Program, Cornell University, 1993.
  • Goldberg, Jim, Nan Goldin, Sally Mann, Jack Radcliffe, and Kathy Vargas. Hospice: a photographic inquiry. Boston: Little, Brown, in association with the Corcoran Gallery of Art and National Hospice Foundation, 1996. ISBN 0-8212-2259-7.
  • Lippard, Lucy R., and MaLin Wilson-Powell. Kathy Vargas: photographs, 1971-2000. San Antonio, TX: Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, 2000. ISBN 0-916677-45-1.
  • Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists featuring Kathy Vargas. Edited by Nan Cuba and Riley Robinson (Trinity University Press, 2008).


  1. ^ a b c d e Henkes, Robert (1999). Latin American Women Artists of the United States: The Works of 33 Twentieth-Century Women. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 219–226. ISBN 0786405198.