French artist Soasig Chamaillard created a series of pop culture characters, from miniature statues of the iconic Virgin Mary.
But not everyone was charmed by her work. In 2011, Chamaillard’s reimagined icons created quite the controversy in Nantes, France, where Catholic critics declared her exhibit at Galerie Albane ”scandalous,” “shameful,” and “blasphemous.”
“I grew up in a Christian Western society. My perspective on life has been a result of my environment and background. The playful interaction of society’s many icons, physical transformations, and the resulting improbable combinations, have culminated in my vision of a woman’s role and place in our society. This inner questioning of a woman’s role, has led me to use one of the most sacred icons in my work, namely, the Virgin Mary. Initially, I begin with damaged statues, either donated or discovered in garage sales, which I then restore and transform. I surely do not mean to chock those who believe but rather to move those who see.”