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Angelina Jolie Offended by Virgin Mary Wal-Mart Painting Jan 7, 2007 - 4:07
LOS ANGELES - Angelina Jolie is offended by a painting that depicts her as the Virgin Mary hovering in a cloud over a Wal-Mart checkout line. The painting, called "Twelve Items or Less," was executed by Kate Kretz, an obscure North Carolina artist best known until now for her painting of Richard Petty hovering in a cloud over the infield at Dover Downs Raceway.
The painting—acrylic and oil on linen—depicts an angelic Jolie walking on clouds, holding her newborn daughter, Shiloh. Meanwhile, her adopted children, Maddox and Zahara, stand at either side of her, clutching her virgin blue gown. The older children are naked but for their wings. Below the holy trinity is a Wal-Mart checkout line.
"The painting is laughable," said Ms. Jolie. "I've seen better 'art' for sale at gas stations or on those holy cards they give away at viewings. I bet the 'artist' does a mean picture of Jesus—you know, the kind where his eyes seem to follow you around the room."
Ms. Jolie's major complaint, however, is with the setting of "Twelve Items or Less."
"I've never been inside a Wal-Mart in my life," she sniffed. "I don't believe in supporting companies that depress wages artificially, exploit women, and drive out local competition. If that woman had painted me in a more representative setting—an orphanage in Calcutta or a workers' co-op in Costa Rica—I wouldn't have minded, but Wal-Mart? Give me a break."
Twelve Items or Less
While nobody has defended "Twelve Items or Less" as fine art, at least one observer thinks Ms. Jolie doth protest too much.
"Maybe Angelina doesn't shop in Wal-Mart," said Dr. Phil McGraw, "but a lot of her fan base does. Besides I think there are other issues at work here. Ms. Jolie certainly gives evidence of suffering from a chronic case of Madonna with Child Syndrome. The woman has not appeared in public without a baby on board in a long time.
"Obviously there is some deep-seated psychological need driving her behavior. I find it highly significant that as soon as Ms. Jolie finally let her adopted son, Maddox, walk on his own at the advanced age of four years, she adopted an infant girl and then had a backup baby of her own for good measure. Perhaps she doesn't like the painting because it hits too close to home."
Artist Kate Kretz, for her part, seems surprised at all the attention her painting has attracted. She told Popular Art magazine she is sorry if Ms. Jolie "doesn't get it." She also revealed that she wasn't going to let public reaction keep her from starting work on her next painting—Britney Spears and her two sons standing in a cloud over the food court in a California mall. After that she said she plans to return to her other loves, hair embroideries and psychological clothing.
In related news, Twelve Items or Less can be purchased for $50,000 through Chelsea Galleria in Miami, which represents Ms. Kretz.