Angelina: Mary or Liberty?

They’re going ga ga over it at Philip Blosser’s web page. Actually only one person is. You decide. Here’s Angelina Jolie as model for the Blessed Mother by artist Kate Kretz:

And here’s the obverse of the US Double Eagle ($20):

I thought there were similarities. Kretz’s web site actually describes the Angelina image as the “Virgin Mary,” so maybe my argument doesn’t have the legs. Not owning one of these beauties … one of the gold pieces, I mean … I didn’t have the exact details right. I thought the Liberty goddess had a prominent thigh like Jolie’s, but we can see it’s her left leg on the rock. Still, the poses are similar: full frontal views, somewhat revealing clothing, symbols of culture at the woman’s feet, and the rays–though coming from different directions. Torch and olive branch instead of kids … not as close, I guess.

The artist herself from her weblog:

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.

I’m sure the Catholic blogosphere is atwitter about this. I can only imagine if we still minted coins emblazoned with the image of a pagan goddess.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Church News, coins, Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Angelina: Mary or Liberty?

  1. Tony says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever seen the “Blessed Mother” with her head and cleavage uncovered.

  2. Tess says:

    you are so right tony in your observation and to those that take offense to this we will be prosecuted for it but so be it. how anyone can think that they can even compare to the Virgin Mary is beyond me know matter how saintly they maybe. none of us could hold an candle to Mary no matter how hard we tried.

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