Modern Madonna


This piece is part of a series of Madonna images I created with the perspective that the beauty of the Sacred Feminine does not need to be in one type of image, i.e. the typical demure Madonna with downward-cast eyes. I loved the idea of this Madonna looking right at the camera. I loved her tattoos and piercings and spiked hair…all of those things that I had heard people around me comment on in teens and young women as bad or disgraceful. Part of me agreed, but only the very smallest part that was a bit afraid of it all. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to witness the boldness of others when you yourself want to blend in and not be seen. I wrote some quotes on the back of the frame that I felt were these smaller parts of all of us that aren’t willing to throw our fears to the wind and see what true sacred beauty can be.

“She used to be such a good little girl. What happened?”

“Kids these days!!”

“Where did we go wrong?”

“It could be worse. It could be your daughter.”

“She could be such a pretty girl. What a shame.”

The bigger part of me relished the idea of being as bold as this Modern Madonna in order to make a statement that spoke out to people every single time they looked at me. How brave and honest. I wanted to show that honest beauty and make it sacred. To recognize this larger part, I wrote on the back of the frame:

She knows she has the power to make the stares smile and the words shift, but that means she lives in their world and takes on the legacy of fear and shame. She risks abandonment to gain freedom; she bears isolation to discover her inner wings. Oh my child. Surrender to your depth and soften your interior, your heart. You are the pioneer of self, of soul, of love for humanity.

I honor the sacred beauty and strength in all women.

The piece measures 20 x 24″ and is oil on canvas. Completed 2006. Prints of this piece as well as tshirts, phone and ipad cases, and notecards can be purchased via Fine Art America or Redbubble. Check it out!


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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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