This eccentric collection of “Pinup Saints” was inspired by a lifelong interest in the extreme curiosities of the lives of my favorite female Catholic saints. Recently, while reading a book about lives of the Saints, I was struck with the notion that Saints were actually the pop culture heroes of the Catholic Church. With this in mind, I set out to blend my love of iconic pinup images with my fascination for religious icons. The result is a vivid body of work, which I hope will allow the viewer to vacillate between the playful, the disturbing, the beautiful, the reverential and the humorous. (click on images to enlarge)
(00 A.D. – 33 A.D.)
Child of God, and son of Mary, Jesus Christina was crucified, died and was buried. On the third day Jesus Christina rose again, according to the scriptures. Jesus Christina ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father.
(292 A.D. – 304 A.D.)
Saint Agnes was a beautiful Roman girl who was quite young when she was ordered to marry. Having pledged her virginity to Jesus, Agnes refused to marry. In punishment, she was sentenced to burn at the stake. The wood that was supposed to burn miraculously would not ignite so a soldier beheaded Agnes, who went happily to her death.
Saint Christina the Astonishing
(1150 A.D.– 1224 A.D.)
Saint Christina of Belgium was thought to be insane. She stated that she cold smell the odor of sin. When she was 21, she suffered a severe seizure and was thought to have died. However, during her funeral Mass, the coffin flew opened and she suddenly soared to the top of the roof of the Church. She related she had been to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory and was told by Christ to return to earth to pray for the suffering souls in Purgatory and on Earth.
Saint Gwen Teirbron
(499 A.D. - 550 A.D.)
Saint Gwen Teirbron was a pious Celtic princess who was born with three breasts. Oddly enough, she later gave birth to triplets, each of whom became a saint. It is believed that her extra breast was a reward for her “spiritual fecundity.” She is reported to have escaped kidnapping by pirates by walking across the ocean.
Saint Helena of Costantanople
(248 A.D. - 328 A.D.)
St. Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, went to the Holy Land at the age of 80 in search of the True Cross of Jesus Christ. Three crosses were unearthed at Calvary; to determine which was the True Cross, an afflicted woman touched all three. One of the three healed her. Overjoyed that she had succeeded in finding the True Cross Helena had a church built to this relic on Calvary.
Mary, Mother of God
(18 B.C. – 41 A.D.)
Mary was the mother of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
(283 A.D. – 303 A.D.)
Beautiful Lucy was the daughter of very noble and rich parents. As a young girl, she promised herself to Jesus and vowed never to marry. The pagan noble she had been promised to was furious that she would not marry and tortured her by plucking out her eyes and stabbing her in the neck. Jesus rewarded Lucy and gave her back eyes, more beautiful than before.
Saint Rosaline de Villeneuve
(1263 A.D - 1329 A.D.)
Saint Rosaline was a French noblewoman, known for her charity to the poor. She often slipped away to give food to beggars outside the family castle. Her father ordered her to stop. Late one night, despite her father’s order, she filled her apron with food for the poor. When her father found her and demanded to know what she carried, she opened the apron and showed him an abundance of roses. He immediately ordered the cooks to feed everyone at the door.
Saint Rose of Lima
(1586 A.D – 1617 A.D.)
St. Rose of Lima is the patroness of Latin America and the Philippines. Rose was very, very beautiful and her mother made her a crown of roses to highlight her beauty. Rose had given her heart to Jesus and had no desire to be admired so she wore a crown of thorns beneath the crown of roses. She also rubbed her face with pepper to raise blisters. No matter what she did, her inner beauty showed through.
(1350 A.D – 1362 A.D.)
Saint Wilgefortis, daughter of a pagan king of Portugal, refused to enter into an marriage arranged by her father to the pagan king of Sicily, because she had taken a Christian vow of chastity. She prayed to be made repulsive to her future husband. Miraculously, she sprouted a beard, which repulsed her suitor. Her father was so enraged that he had her crucified.