Angelina Jolie has been assumed into heaven along with her three cherubs, Maddox, Zahara & Shiloh, in this iconoclastic take on celebrity worship.
Artist Kate Kretz writes:
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 as to who is “blessed”.
I chose a setting where the cycle begins, creating an oppressive psychological space where the consumer is driven to reach for the tabloid, 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 and consumerism.
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.
The “Virgin” and Zahara figures are loosely based on a Van Dyck Virgin painting, and the Maddox figure’s pose is borrowed from a Raphael painting. This painting utilizes imagery that I have used in previous work, but where I formerly used this vocabulary to look inward, here I am responding to the outside world.
I like that question, just what are the psychological and spiritual ramifications of celebrity worship? And the obvious extension of this is, just how reconcilable is celebrity worship with Christian discipleship?