French artist Soasig Chamaillard takes damaged commemorative statuettes of The Virgin Mary and turns them into pop culture characters. There’s Hello Kitty Virgin Mary, My Little Pony Virgin Mary, Barbie Virgin Mary, Star Wars Virgin Mary, Superman Mary, Virgin Mary with Astroboy, Virgin Mary with Power Rangers, Color-By-Number Mary, Super Mary-O (!!!), Polly Fucking Pockets Virgin Mary, and a Sailor Moon Virgin Mary that Takashi Murakami WISHES he could have made.
Predictably, the artwork caused condemnation among members of the Catholic church. In an interview with ARTINFO France, Chamaillard said: “As an artist, you don’t necessarily see the clash between your internal world and the external world.” She grew up in what she refers to as “a Christian Western” society, and it’s those very icons that make up her vision of humankind–specifically: womenkind. As much as The Virgin Mary is a religious icon, she is also a symbol of women. Chamaillard went on to express regret that she could have hurt some (religious) people with her art, but reminds them: “Faith is not in statues, and perhaps they should remember that.”
Indeed, perhaps they should. (Evangelical Americans, I’m talking to you.*) Chamaillard gracefully provides a DIY coloring page for aspiring Virgin Mary customizers. For a more biblical experience, you can pick up two books of Chamaillard’s pop culture Virgin Mary statues for ~ $32 USD each (I just did) and signed print editions for just under ~ $200 USD here. Love these!