Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Catholics Officially say I'm not Evil, and Another Take on the Painting...

My friend Peter, a professor of International Relations, saw this image as one of Globalization, where the United States goes forth "saving" other countries (represented by Zahara & Maddox), while leaving behind a wake of McDonald's, Coke and Wal Marts. His take was fascinating to me, as "Blessed Art Thou" was the title mid-way through, but when the painting was finished, I looked at it and thought, 'This really should be titled "An American Benediction", because the painting was SO American. So the title, one of the things I have been getting nasty emails about, might never have happened if more people knew what a benediction was.

Speaking of nasty emails, one of my newfound friends has pointed out to me in a comment below that The Catholic League, an organization that defends individual Catholics and the Institutional Church from defamation and discrimination, has issued a press release on the painting. Bill Donohue (a man I exchanged many an email with when Sacred Ovaries made his list) commented on the painting is this way:

“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.”

Radar even ran a pic of the painting detail with Bill smiling beneath it.


Blogger petunia said...

Thank goodness you didn't paint a picture of Mohamed....
Seriosly, do people no get this? I am an artist and I DO NOT appreciate the "Piss christ" (Andres Serrano) type paintings - that's going over the line. But your painting is mocking the modern day societal view on what is "sacred" - the "icons" we see today are in the Walmart check out line. And people hold them just as dear as they did the icons in the church so long ago. Isn't this the stuff you wanted people to see?? Not that Jolie is anything like Mary.....

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree so much with Petunia. Had it not been for the big fuss over Jolie being Mother Mary I doubt I would have seen it that way. I see it as showing us what it is we hold dear and a wake up call.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Oracle said...

Your art is fantastic and people should stop expressing there personal interpretation if they cannot handle how they feel

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your painting and am especially impressed by the execution. The careful attention to the folds of clothing is something I've always noticed in period paintings and am envious of... In a different but similar spirit, I create paintings of celebrities as Greek and Roman mythic characters...


12:37 PM  
Anonymous readbetweenthelines said...

Love the irony. How quickly people forgot that not too long ago "Ambassador Angelina" was nothing but a home wrecker. Betcha Jen's loving it!

7:12 PM  
Blogger SuperAmanda said...

I am impressed by the graceful reactions by both you and Catholic organizations that have responded so far. When I was growing up I was given complete freedom of religion by two ex-catholic parents who chose Eastern religions while I chose to be an agnostic so the paintings religious symbols are only secondary to me and have little power to shock. Where I do see it as a powerful is in Kate's clever and chilling expose of American consumer culture. Having once lived in a very small town in Northern California where they burn crosses and kill Gays, WalMart is the Walden Pond for many a neo-con.
(Actually that's a line from one of my songs too ;) The painting is just amazing!!!

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ms Kate Kretz

Virgin Mary is a religious icon, a true model of humility, pure and clean. Angelina is a model of worldliness, earthly, but to be compared to Mother Mary, is totally disrespectful to all the Christians.

If you want to make a name for yourself, you made the right choice. And I urge all Christians to boycott you as a painter in their future murals.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous ALLAH AKHBAR 4EVAH said...

superamanda sez:

"The fixated person who left that convoluted comment about Islam reminds me of the women in Kate's painting who are all basket cases of ill health. She really creates a mood of energetic impoverishment within the store and the shoppers at the same time- as if they are breeding each other’s depleted energy, the above would fit right in."
LOL! Thanks for the compliment. I guessed you missed the irony. I'm "fixated" because I'm affirming my free speech rights in criticizing the selective nature of so many American artists today? Kate has every right to mock Christians and Jews (Mary was a Jewish woman, and those white women below could be Jews or Christians) and suggest, as some proffer, that U.S. = malls, McDonalds, imperialism, racism, sexism, lookism, homophobia, etc. , all the obvious product of straight white male christians (and a few deists). However, those straight white male christians wrote the U.S. Constitution (albeit with slavery--oops, that was abolished later due to for the most part straight white christians--females too) which continues to inspire humans around the world.
Sure the U.S. has huge problems. However, why do so many want to come to a country that's so irredeemably evil in the eyes of so many otherwise intelligent left-leaning Americans? I guess those evil straight white males REALLY have hoodwinked all those people of color from the East, i.e. Asians, now Asian Americans (musicians, engineers, mathematicians, physicists, physicians--I could go on) to enjoy late capitalism, since Asian Americans are more successful than white Americans in salary, SAT (hey isn't that a racist test??), etc., and FAR more successful than Latinas/-os and African Americans.
superamanda, I hope you can spot some of the irony above.
Sorry, amanda, i love to be subversive and reverse hierarchies and valorize the marginalized by poking fun at fascist theocracies, some of whom would love to kill me for pictorially representing Allah as I do below:



11:01 PM  
Blogger SuperAmanda said...

Well you are clever and enigmatic but few of us artists in the west want to go down Salaman Rushdie's path... besides, the Vatican, Colonialism, the Crusades etc created extremists so it's an indirect hit.

12:30 AM  
Blogger Dirk_Star said...

Great painting!

You are my new heroine.

Please do Mohammed next...


With honey on it...

5:24 PM  

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