I love this group of icons. The colours, the forms, the ensemble. The first, Jesus with a timber fan – cum halo, stands on a polished timber plinth giving the peace sign. The middle icon- hand painted perhaps by someone in a hurry- has Mary with a somewhat shifty look, and Joseph looking like a harried hippy [could that haircut be any more unfortunate?] As for baby Jesus- is it just me, or is he a ventriloquist doll?
The final icon features Mary arms outstretched, standing on an orb that while representing the earth, is the colour of her dress and head scarf, and which itself is on a bakelite plinth. Mary’s face is featureless- it’s all about the clothes- she is just a cipher.
The trio form an interesting group representing religious iconography of the 50s. In Australia. In the 50s.
A timber framed image, a metal wall plaque and two plastic icons- all starring the Madonna- as seen through the lens of history from the 50s. Beautiful, slim and oh-so Caucasian, Mary is also quietly assertive, if somewhat humourless. At least she doesn’t look like a hippy, unlike the unfortunate rendering of Joseph.
I have been collecting Madonnas for the better part of twenty years and it’s the Mary’s from the 50s that appeal the most. Contemporary Mother of God’s look harried and cross and seem to have hastily applied make-up; but by contemporary I mean the 70s since the renderings & images seem to have stopped then. Where are the 2014 Mary’s?