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.