For Thou Art Celebrity

May the blessings of Our Lady of Celebrity Worship, Angelina Jolie, be upon you. Celebs are modern day, secular religious icons – if the Renaissance masters were alive today their subject matter would be the same as People, Entertainment Tonight and Perez Hilton.

Artist Kate Kretz’s "Blessed Art Thou" features the holy Ms. Jolie floating in the clouds above a Wal-Mart, holding her newborn daughter Shiloh, with Maddox and Zahara at her legs. I used to think of it as a cult of celebrity, but it really has become spiritual for some people.

This isn’t the first religious depiction of celebs I’ve come across – it is a favourite topic of Gallery of the Absurd. See Saint Tom of Oprah’s Couch, Madonna and Child and the Brangelina Shrine. Kretz’s painting also reminds me of Chris Woods iconographic McDonald’s paintings, bur I suppose Wal-Mart is a better example of consumer culture. I hope we see more from her.

Addendum: OK, it may have been a bit over the top comparing, even indirectly, the painting to the work of Renaissance painters. That'll learn me to post while I'm tired. In reading more about the work it seems the main criticism is that the statement is too obvious, that it's not subtle enough. But nobody is disputing what it depicts.


  1. OH MY GOD. I laughed so hard at that I think I ruptured something! Thanks for the link to that site, I love it!

  2. To Gallery of the Absurd? Ya, it is a bit of pop culture bliss.