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Bad Church Art!

Separated at Birth: L.A. Madonna and Samurai Jack?

05/27/2011 Comments (38)

Okay, so Jimmy got the ball rolling commenting on Rome’s New UGLY John Paul II Statue … and then a reader commented:

Speaking of ugly religious-themed art, anyone ever see the statue of Mary that is in front of the LA Cathedral?  She looks like a character from Star Trek.

… so I just had to say something.

I know exactly what the reader is talking about. The allegedly Marian statue at L.A.‘s Our Lady of the Angels does indeed look like a “Star Trek” character—specifically, like a Vulcan—but there’s another pop-culture comparison that’s even more appropriate.

So appropriate, indeed, that I have to ask:

Separated at Birth: L.A. Madonna and Samurai Jack?

Statue allegedly representing the patroness of L.A.’s modernistic cathedral, Our Lady of the Angels.

Popular Cartoon Network animated hero Samurai Jack.

So there it is. Make of it what you will.

Art matters. Sacred art doubly so. Bad art is a corrosive force on the spirit, whether it’s bad hymnody or bad music generally, bad church architecture, bad movies, whatever. It’s why I do what I do.

Incidentally, I’m thankful every week that Suz and I are able to bring our family to worship where we do. Some readers will remember that last Saturday—right around the time some were looking for earthquakes and the Rapture—our son James was confirmed with Jimmy Akin, his godfather, acting as sponsor. Here’s the church where it happened:


But we’ve been subjected to lots of bad church architecture and art, too ... a subject for another post, perhaps.

How about you? How beautiful, or otherwise, is your church? What bad or good sacred art have you seen?


Filed under art, church art, sacred art, samurai jack, statue

About SDG

Steven D. Greydanus
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Deacon Steven D. Greydanus is film critic for the National Catholic Register, creator of Decent Films, and a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Newark. With David DiCerto, he co-hosts the Gabriel Award–winning cable TV show “Reel Faith” for New Evangelization Television. Steven has degrees in media arts and religious studies, and has contributed several entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, including “The Church and Film” and a number of filmmaker biographies. He has also written about film for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy. He has a BFA in Media Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and an MA in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, PA. Steven and his wife Suzanne have seven children.