Monday, January 08, 2007

I apologize for not responding to all the emails... I will eventually read all of them (except the ones that my new email assistant has determined to be vitriolic). The supportive posts (and the extremist posts which illustrate my primary point) are deeply appreciated. All the dissenting views are being left on the blog to maintain a fair dialogue, unless they are completely irrelevant, or particularly personal attacks, having nothing to add to the discussion. I am restraining the art professor in me from trying to explain symbol and metaphor to people who seem to have no desire to understand the principles.

It is challenging these days... monitoring the blog, dealing with the business and personal-protection end of what has happened, and fulfilling my commitment to teaching a little mini semester class that I have never taught before. Sleep is not a common occurrence these days.

I am being personally challenged in the "artists need thick skin" philosophy I have preached to my students for the past ten years. Most of the attacks roll off my back, except for the "selling out", and "publicity seeking" comments. For 20 years, I have made what I wanted to make in the studio with NO regard for sales. For virtually all of my professional life (until last year), I specifically avoided working with commercial galleries, choosing instead to show in academic venues, non-profits and small museums. I was a university professor specifically so that I could maintain the purity of my work, with no worry about the need to "make things that sell", so these comments are especially hard to let go of.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kate, I just want to thank you for the courage and integrity of your expression. I'm a new visitor to your website, and I'm thankful for the media coverage that has led me to your work. I can see how this coverage has very positive aspects like introducing people like me to appreciating your work, mixed with negative aspects of being judged by people who are trapped in their own beliefs, fears and self rigteousness. Just remember that what people say says everything about themselves and their world view and little to nothing about you and your art. Keep up the honest work. I'll keep looking!

8:34 AM  
Blogger Kaz Maslanka said...

Your integrity is intact. Don’t worry about the jealous nits out there.

Good luck!

9:43 AM  
Anonymous swansong77 said...

I think the painting creates a interesting perspective. Keep up the good work!

9:46 AM  
Blogger Michael-From-The-Future said...


Hello again Kate !

After all the hooplah has died down, you will gain many new fans in the end : )

Stay true to yourself and worry not about the goofballs in the world *

By the way, You have some great art on your site <---------------- and that's what counts ; )


9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the painting is very nice and tastefully done.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am new to your site and am amazed with your work. I must say I truly can not see that the newest painting is that much outside of your personal style. So for those who believe your a sell out must know nothing about your work. I can not say I understand some of the comments you are receving about the painting. I guess your the only artist that has ever used the Virgin Mary in any not church related work. I have personally found myself thinking about the meaning of the painting and can come up with many things it says. Perhaps those who are the most upset with it are just angry because it makes them think about the things they dislike about who they are.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Kate, I had just missed u on Friday @ Art Miami! Apparently by seconds :( The parking sucked!! BUT I did see the painting and heard some good feedback from viewers..interesting to hear what ppl had to say while in front of the painting. Only wish there was no wall in front of it so that I could see it from a distance. Maybe at another showing perhaps? Will u let this one go quickly or will u have to sit on it until u r done starring at it and soaking it in? Good side...when it's sold u can do your couple months in Europe trip that is way overdue ;)

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

link to all the angelina jolie paintings on google

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! The painting is at the same time beautiful, intriguing, shocking, and profound.

This is "art" in its truest sense.

Thank you for your genius, and sharing your talent and vision with the world.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Ron A. said...

Hi Kate,

If you had used Jane Morris as the model (The oft used model of the Pre-Raphaelites), you would have heard little about it but the point of the work would be lost. Much of the work rests on the choice of a known personality whose life is so much in the spotlight. The idea that you somehow sold out by using A.Jolie as a device to generate attention is as off the mark as the idea that you are infatuated with her enough to place her there as a sign of your adoration.

Really I am stunned that so many are so wide of the paintings message. In some regards I'm surprised the painting has caused so much controversy, So much of the controversy is based on false assumptions and knee-jerk reactions of people refusing to consider the essential meaning of the work. I have found it humorous that considering the point of the painting so much vitriolic flack has been blogged on celebrity oriented sites.

I also think it's of value to remember that unlike many works of art, this one is being seen by a much wider and more diverse audience than usual, an internet based audience used to "Flaming" anything and anyone they choose to dislike.

So please take the "Sold Out" remarks with a grain of salt. In reality thats just a cheap-shot remark aimed at your integrity because they know it will be hurtful to your artistic senses. Since it bothers you that they say it, it should be proof to yourself they are wrong.

So they missed understanding you, the painting and for many of them, even themselves. Not to worry, many others were able to appreciate its message, artistic value and enjoy having seen it.

I knew it would be a weekend to remember:)

Ron Ackerley

P.S. I would avoid doing a three virtues work with L.Lohan, P. Hilton and B. Spears...

"We live in an age in which it is necessary to go on repeating certain platitudes-in an arrogant age which believes itself to be above the misadventures of Greece and Rome." - Charles Baudelaire, 1858

11:40 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

I don't get it.
I saw the news today and read all the uproar that's going on about your Angelina painting. Good grief! Had to come out to your sight to see what's up. Have people nothing better to do than criticize? Makes me sick.

I love your stuff even more now that I read you're using the glazing technique. Very cool indeed. Some of your pieces even made me chuckle out loud. And then, I, of course, responded on an emotional level to just about all of them.

Loved (some) Penises I've Known!!!!
I've picked my favorite.

Hey. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
The hell with everyone else. It'll be over soon. Keep your head up and walk proud. You're doin' good. I just wish I could take a class or two from you.

What Ron Ackerly said...... Perfect.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kate..I think at this point you just have to move on and keep your chin up. I have seen many rediculous judgment on this blog (uneducated ones at that). You have been fung into the spotlight and you are now facing the viscious judgments that many celebrities face. I can't wait to see your next painting. I think you painting is a sucess...whatever the intention you got people thinking, talking, blogging and buzzing...

I really don't think you need to defend yourself at all. Your an anyone "gets" your work or not. So what! Just do your thing.


12:33 PM  
Blogger Alan and/or Maranda said...

What a fascinating artist! I have contacted you through the other website and have asked for some comments that I can use in the college English composition course I designed around popular culture.

This piece of work especially lends itself to ideas about audience, purpose, medium, and even to nuances that can be paralleled in the writing world.

I appreciate this so much, and I hope to hear from you. Great work! Keep it up.

I am very new to this, so is there a mailing list we can join? Thanks.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous smartalek said...

Like it or not, you've been inducted, soldier.
Welcome to the front lines of the culture war. Snag a couple extra MREs -- you'll be needing them. Catch a nap whenever you can, you'll need to be alert at all times. And watch out for that friendly fire; it's a b!#@h.
Now get out there and soldier, soldier!

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Kelli said...

"For virtually all of my professional life, I specifically avoided working with commercial galleries, choosing instead to show in academic venues, non-profits and small museums. I was a university professor specifically so that I could maintain the purity of my work, with no worry about the need to "make things that sell", so these comments are especially hard to let go of."

Well the fact that you had used ANGELINA JOLIE, of all people who devote to charity, I am certain you were expecting a bit of controversy and I'm sure you knew this when you first set your brush on your canvas to paint the most media-focused, controversial public figure of all time. C'mon, you're not naive. If you wanted to make a point about children and saints and goddesses and such, you could've just easily painted a normal, unknown woman who adopts the same way Jolie does. Call me critical, but you're trying to justify what you're doing and I'm just not buying it. I'm not condemning you for this but it does look like you have talent; it's just a waste that you put your work painting the one figure many people love to hate. The painting most likely implies to be a saint, all you gotta do is be Angelina Jolie, ie. cutting yourself, sex with same genders, denounce your parent, steal husbands, the list goes on. Sure, cuz that's what Virgin Mary did, right? And if we do all those things, we'll all go to heaven too.

1:54 PM  
Blogger SuperAmanda said...

Keep going Kate and take it from one who has known a few in their time-YOU ARE NO SELL OUT. The fact that you are willing to be vulnerable, honest and connect with us puts you in a rare class of very brave artists; those who are willing to communicate.
Back to the painting, I was finally able to pull up the full size jpeg and I'm very impressed that you were able to capture Angelina's uniqueness so well. An amateur would have not been able to capture her side by side frailness and strength. The chilling part is WalMart though and how generic and sterile everything looks.... this begs the question "What are they really fighting for in Iraq?" Will all the oil just go to fuel the cars that drive to more and more WalMart? What about the hundreds of children left orphaned in Iraq or left father less/motherlesss here or there? Maybe to many Americans all roads ultimately lead to WalMart. Too many angry Christians and Catholics see themselves at the bottom of this painting and when they look up they see what they most fear: a provacative, articulate woman with a multi-racial family who doesn't need a wedding ring or an H&M sweatshop track suit.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"sold out" doesn't resonate simply because you used Jolie. "offensive" does when you couch an amoral home wrecker in the cloak of Mary. Since art is partly to provoke a response, you shouldn't be surprised if critics bemoan your descent into tabloid sensationalism. After all, that's what you were leveraging/ exploiting. Warhol did this decades ago so it's old news to me. Enjoy your 15 minutes.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Sheree Rensel said...

I have been thinking about you for the past few days. I too am an artist. I have been a great fan of your work for years (in the shadows). I have the absolute highest regard for (ALL) the work you do.
I just wanted to tell you that you know what is true. You know how great the art life can be albeit frustrating at times. Yeah, there are people who say this or they say that. You are speaking through your art and I GET it! You do too! So paint for those of our ilk!

To quote a someone you know very well:
"“exhibitions are nice, Kathleen, but don’t forget… the ART is the thing.”

Sheree Rensel

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not an artist but appreciate those that are. I also GET IT, am happy about the publicity that it brings because with it comes dialogue and I applaud you for your work and vision. THANK YOU!

3:27 PM  
Blogger Williebee said...

I get it... and I don't. (and isn't that how good art is supposed to be?)
I am amused by the imagery and the audacity; and made ashamed by the truth of it.

And I am grateful to you for all of that.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

Kate, congratulations on creating a beautiful painting. If people don't like the content, that's's still wonderful work.

Your life will never be the same after this, and I hope it gets better and better for you as you continue along.

Best wishes............

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the spell check...But I think you missed a WORD in your own statement to me.

Use the correct what? Did you mean WORD? I also liked your grammar and punctuation, it was flawless. ROFL. Iguess you will be rereading your own post. he he

Right back at you.


4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kate...not everyone is going to "get" it. Some people are closed-minded while others crave to think out side the box. Do you remember everyone getting all riled up about the Davinci Code? It was labeled fiction the last time I checked. Yet people took it literally. Some are looking at your painting literally. I appreciate what you visualized and expressed. It really made many people think. We should all re-think how we, as a society, portray celebrities. They are only human right?

Just remember you are not the first to provoke thought and you won’t be the last. Way to go!

4:59 PM  
Anonymous nikkole stone said...

it's ironic, isn't it- when you make your living as an artist of any kind (painter, writer, musician) people only consider your art valid until you actually make a living at it.

you're no sell out- your work is fantastic. visionary, provocative, and beautiful.

ignore the haters.

nikkole stone

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your work. I especially just love the way you actually use your art to speak your thoughts/passions with the world.

I think it's funny that some people would find it offensive to have Jolie in the Virgin Mary they think they are somehow above a "homewrecker"? Don't they understand that Jesus came to those who were lost not those who are "perfect"? I'm not saying that Angelina Jolie is somehow a virgin mary because obviously she is not. But Jesus came to die for EVERYONE'S sins, including mary's.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

Thanks for the work! I, for one, am glad you got the publicity or I may have never stumbled upon your website:)
Take care!

5:30 PM  
Blogger Victoria Champion said...

I love the painting "Blessed Art Thou". My interpretation of it is that you are making a statement about celebrity culture in relation to the reality of the human condition, especially that of the common American woman. As an American woman who was raised Catholic (but no longer is), this piece spoke to me immediately when I saw it on CNN. There was alot of discussion also about this on WetCanvas site so I went to your homepage to have a look.

I am an emerging artist myself, and I paint alot of female figurative art in my own efforts to portray the female condition.

Be true to yourself and don't let naysayers get you down psychologically. You must realize, as an art professor, that most of mundane America is uncultured. They will find offense, especially when it comes to religion, so easily. It troubles me that you have been upset by these vitriolic comments. Just rest assured that your peers, for the most part, understand that art is self-expression, and no one else can really tell you what you should and shouldn't paint.

I think this painting has been given more than 15 minutes of fame, and will be referred to in the future as an important work of pop culture art.

Good luck to you.
Victoria Champion

6:35 PM  
Blogger BlondeSense Liz said...

Kate, I completely get where you are coming from and as you know, good art sparks debate and controversy. Obviously you have hit a nerve. Bravo!

Never let the naysayers get you down. Ever.

6:39 PM  
Blogger theotherfeminist said...

I think it is a wonderful expression of the perpetuation of the Madonna figure. This archetypal image has been carried on since the dawn of human conscienous and hopefully will continue with artist like you. In times like these, a time of war, you have chosen to paint something life affirming and if you didn't mean to, so what, you are an artist, You create something and you put it out there, and that's it. Just be like Mary Poppins and make yourself perfectly clear - you never explain anything.

6:58 PM  
Blogger SuperAmanda said...

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.

10:36 PM  
Blogger HistoryintheMaking said...

Mrs. Kretz,
I have to say that I agree with your friend. Either you are a genius or you did shoot yourself in the foot. In my opinion I think you did some people a favor. These celebrities are not God's by any means but simply human and they do give off an angelic beauty (no pun intended). When I first heard of this it was a little wired but I must say the art work is growing on me. Good luck with all the attention, and in the future.

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Serena said...

Angelina is lovely in your painting. You have captured her image so well!
(Searching for a symbolic representation of Brad somewhere in here....)

(A magazine aisle featuring top media icons in the lower portion of the painting would add to the theme...just my humble opinion).

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Serena again said... deliciously Da Vinci Code...

I think this is a fantastic depiction of our pop culture.

Snide remarks all the way to the bank baby!

2:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your works are very interesting and the attention of your angelina painting brought me to your site. I do not believe that you are to be blamed for any unwarrented attention given to your painting because it is society who should be blamed for their own interests in your painting and angelina.. if people were not star crazy and so interested in the lives of actors they would not have felt compelled to comment on the image or raise such a fuss.. otherwise i think it is beautiful

11:59 PM  
Blogger Blage said...

Heard about the painting at Girlistic it! Love what is says about our society's celebrity obscession. People who accuse you of selling out are usually jealous of the attention, or monetary compensation you are getting. Really it is their problem. Don't let their insecurities get under your skin.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous BFA in NC said...

I love your work, its message and craftmanship.

Art makes people think and that's what you've done on a grand scale and that is wonderful.

Don't let these people get to you.

9:20 PM  
Blogger alanna said...

my 2 cents:

i'm really happy you decided to make this painting, because if you hadn't i'd probably have never known about you, and wouldn't have had the pleasure of seeing all your other works. my head is spinning with the magnitude of your art. it's so...BIG. in every sense.

and if you'd always only shown in small museums, i never would have found you and seen this. so thank you.

3:28 PM  

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