Skip to main content

Smithsonian Institution Collections

Selena

Selena
Smithsonian Museum
National Portrait Gallery
Description
Known as the "queen of Tejano music," Selena Quintanilla-Pérez brought wide recognition to this South Texas blend of Mexican and American musical styles. Her powerful voice made her the idol of fans on both sides of the border. Wearing a bustier, tight pants, and a pouting smile, Selena set a new standard for Latin beauty, and her self-confidence on stage brought comparisons with Madonna. In 1990 she released Ven Conmigo, the first Tejano album by a female artist to go gold, and soon she had her own clothing line and national product endorsements. She won a Grammy Award in 1993, but her life ended tragically two years later, when a former president of her fan club shot and killed her. Selena’s death at age twenty-three caused a huge outpouring of grief, and her legend then converged with the rising stardom of fellow Latina singer Jennifer Lopez, who gave a strong performance in her first leading role in Selena (1997).
Artist
Al Rendón, born 1957
Sitter
Selena Quintanilla Perez, 16 Apr 1971 - 31 Mar 1995
Date
1993
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Alfred and Elizabeth Rendon
Medium
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions
Image: 33.2 x 25.9 cm (13 1/16 x 10 3/16")
Sheet: 33.9 x 26.6 cm (13 3/8 x 10 1/2")
Mat: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16")
Type
Photograph