Artist Kate Kretz has created a beautifully detailed painting of Angelina Jolie as the Virgin Mary with her three children called “Blessed Art Thou.” It will be shown at the Art Miami Fair at the Miami Beach Convention Centre in the Chelsea Galleria booth from January 5th to 8th. The thing I love about the painting is that Angelina hovers on a cloud over a perfectly ordinary scene from inside a Walmart, with average people and racks of celebrity magazines off to the side. If you look at it quickly you’re almost fooled into thinking it’s a picture of a painting hanging inside an actual store.
This is similar to our artist in residence’s recent depiction of Angelina as The Mother of All Time, in which she wields a scythe and generally appears fierce. It’s funny how both artists depict Angelina with her children and exclude Brad.
Artist Kate Kretz says the work is about celebrity worship:
This painting addresses the celebrity worship cycle. The title, “Blessed Art Thou”, is taken from a line in the Catholic prayer “Hail Mary”: “…blessed art thou among women”. Our culture is deifying celebrities, but in the bible, it is the meek who are blessed, so the title presents a question for the viewer to ponder.
I chose a setting where the cycle begins: psychologically oppressive environments like this one are one of the feeding sources for the consumer, hungry for “information” about the celebrity’s private life. I am interested in the psychological ramifications of celebrity worship, particularly as they relate to class.
Angelina Jolie was chosen as the subject because of her unavoidable presence in the media, the world-wide 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.
She’s already had several offers to purchase the painting and seems kind of amazed at the attention it’s getting. Well, she could have anticipated it. We can’t get enough of those holy celebrities.