the failure of Catholic kitsch …

… it’s no secret I love Catholic kitsch. But this, I don’t like. Sure it’s campy and colorful. Bright, almost retablo is style. The kitsch factor is there for sure. But, no. It’s does not sit well with me.

Coming from someone who coveted this piece of art. I know, it seems so contradictory. I suppose if super hereos were real during the time of Christ he would evangelize them and tell them to use their powers for good. I doubt the Blessed Virgin Mary would hang ten; however.

Sure, we have all kinds of historical depictions of The Madonna wearing period dress and doing rather mundane things like hanging laundry and sweeping the floors. Not every depiction of Mary need be majestic and royal. While I think of Her as the Queen of Heaven, I still find comfort in the fact that She did joyfully the same very real things I do begrudgingly… like sweep the floors and washing laundry.

This fails at endearing kitsch, and I can judge these accordingly having a Doctorate in Shitty Art.

Our Lady of Guadelupe is the patroness of the unborn and Mexico. An image dear to many Catholics. Her message is of life. Here, in this piece of fail, that message is turned around to “Save the Ocean”. I wonder if the artist was intentionally trying to say that the earth is more important to save than life. Maybe not.

Maybe Mark Patterson, being a gringo in California, saw Our Lady every where and didn’t understand the meaning behind the miraculous self portrait given to us on the tilma of St. Juan Diego. I tend to think that’s all. No purposeful sinister motives intended. Just stupidity dressed up as wit.

I’ve said it before, where lack of understanding and talent meet, shitty art is born.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ingemar

    To be fair, it's far less stupid and offensive than anything John Shelby Spong has to say about God's Mom.

  • Jacob Torbeck

    Mary, star of the sea would have been a better choice! If mary were a Californian chosen by god, she may very well hang 10…

  • TCN

    Well, I've seen nuns in full habit doing things like sledding down a snowy hill and cross-country skiing, so I expect were Our Lady to live in CA she might try the surf. In this case, I'd have to say, maybe we should lighten up a bit. After all, having a son who never sinned probably required a pretty good sense of humor, as does all that intercessing for our stupidity on a regular basis. And doesn't she deserve a bit of fun?

  • Gracewatch

    Stella Maris hanging ten.

  • Mary

    I'm not a surfer but I love it. A surfer who loves Our Lady of Guadelupe enough to share his rendering of her with the rest of us is a-ok with me. It's not like the artist put a mustache on her.

  • I've been around enough surfers to know that this painting was probably not done with bad intentions. The culture of places like Encinitas are steeped in surfing and I suspect the artist was trying to find a way to apply his faith to the culture he lives in. While it is true that this may not be great art, the fellow who did this certainly has far more artistic talent than I. Maybe we shouldn't be so hard on him.

  • This is hysterical!