There are time when you're torn between scratching your head, wondering "What is this artist saying?" and slapping said artist upside his/her head, screaming "What the hell were you thinking?"
Case in point: Soasig Chamaillard, a French sculptor who combines a sense of playfulness with a complete absence of religious sensibility. The write-up on TIME.com's Arts blog has shots of eleven sculptures of the Blessed Virgin, albeit in various transpositions from the merely irreverent to the silly to the downright blasphemous. Four examples for your delectation:
"Super Mary", the Toronto Globe and Mail says, is "a perfect totem for Tough Times Like These, when many recession-battered consumers harbour rescue fantasies or are turning to religion (or both)." Um, okay; at least they didn't say religion is a rescue fantasy ... then I'd really have to throw a nutty. But what can we say about the Blessed Virgin Kitty? ("Hello Mary" is its given title, but as far as that goes, it reminds me too much of the late McLean Stevenson's short-lived comedy Hello Larry ... especially as I have a couple of friends married to each other who are named Larry and Mary.)
I do kinda-sorta like "Sioux Marie"; I've often wondered how a competent artist could transpose either our Savior or the BVM into different ethnic and racial categories to emphasize their universality. (Check out this woodblock print of Our Lady of Perpetual Help by Daniel Mitsui!) My only real qualm with it is that it looks too Anglo-Saxon-starlet-playing-an-Indian-in-a-John-Ford-western cheesy; Our Lady looks too much like the Land O' Lakes Butter logo.
On the other hand, there's simply no excuse for "Blood Pieta". Maybe you're going for the Goth crowd, maybe not ... but vampires are evil, no matter how much you're into the Twilight series, or how big a fan you might be of Angel or Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Actually, I blame Fred Saberhagen for recasting Bram Stoker's Dracula first as a put-upon, horribly misunderstood good guy, then as a chaotic-good antihero. He's the one most responsible for the transformation of the undead nosferatu into relatively normal people with an alternative lifestyle of biting necks.)
Ms. Chamaillard has some talent, and in a way the statues do send up the cloying, kitschy colors of your standard-issue Catholic statue. (I find nothing in canon law which requires tackiness of Latin-rite icons.) But ... the New Eve as a Barbie doll? or as a My Little Pony?—that, by the way, was just too horrible to show; imagine a pink female centaur wearing the Maiden's hair covering.
What is she saying? What was she thinking?