Artist Kate Kretz is selling one of her paintings, “Blessed Art Thou,” that shows actress Angelina Jolie as the Virgin Mary standing in the clouds holding a baby; two children are shown on either side of her grasping her gown. Below this portrayal is a check-out counter at Wal-Mart.
Kretz said her work addresses celebrity worship. She chose Jolie for the subject “because of her unavoidable presence in the media, the worldwide anticipation of her child, her ‘unattainable’ beauty and the good that she is doing in the world through her example, which adds another layer to the already complicated questions surrounding her status.”
Here’s how Catholic League president Bill Donohue saw it:
“The painting is innocent enough and not designed to offend. Nonetheless, Kretz has misappropriated the imagery of Our Blessed Mother. The only good thing we can say is that at least Kretz has—in her own backhanded way—correctly seized upon the most important and revered woman ever to live as the focal point of her statement. It also sends a message to those who unfairly cast the Catholic Church as anti-woman: no other religion in the world has reserved such a special place for a woman to be honored more than Catholicism.”