The neon Virgin Mary, Jesus, and St. Anne statue!
Just like that Saint George statue and, of course, the legendary fucked-up beauty Ecce Homo, a statue in Spain has gotten a glamorous makeover and was taken from “bland basic bitches” to stunningly gorgeous cholita ravers. The artist responsible for splattering layers of neon charisma and beauty onto Mary, Jesus, and St. Anne is María Luisa Menéndez, a tobacco shop owner in the teeny tiny village of El Rañadorio (population: 16) in northwestern Spain.
The 15th century statues live in a shrine in the village’s chapel. They were professionally restored 15 years ago, but The Guardian says that María Luisa felt like they needed a fresh summer look and got permission from the parish priest to do it. So Salvador Dali’s long-lost cousin pulled out the finest paints money can buy (read: cheap ass preschool paints found in the clearance section of a Michael’s) and spent 18 hours a day for three years (read: probably 15 minutes total) painstakingly glamour-ing Mary, Jesus, and St. Anne. Mary, Jesus, and St. Anne are probably up in heaven right now, touching up their exquisite cholita brows with a Sharpie while saying, “FINALLY, somebody captured us in our true form!”
Here’s the before, which is me on a Monday morning, and the after, which is me on a Friday night after the bartender brings my first drink:
— AFP news agency (@AFP) September 7, 2018
Because this world is filled with beauty haters, some people, like the statue’s original restorer Luis Suarez Saro, are horrified. Luis doesn’t know whether to contort his face into the laugh or cry position:
“They’ve used the kind of industrial enamel paint they sell for painting anything and absolutely garish and absurd colours. The result is just staggering. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry. This whole thing’s a wee bit difficult to understand because all the neighbours got together in 2002 to agree the restoration we did, which was then signed off and paid for by the local culture department.
Luis says that infrared technology will have to be used to see how much the paint damaged the statues.
María Luisa waved away Luis’ snobbiness and told El Comercio that the people who have to look at her work regularly are into it.
“I’m not a professional painter but I’ve always liked painting and the statues really needed painting. I painted them as best I could using what I thought were the right colors. The neighbors liked them too. Ask around here and you’ll find out.”
A local newspaper did ask around and while some liked it, others think it’s some amateur shit and is “vengeance” instead of a restoration.
Vengeance?! On who? On eyeballs, because the statue’s dazzling gorgeousness is too much for retinas to take? I agree with that! And I don’t need infrared technology to tell Luis that the statues were not damaged at all. The opposite has happened, actually. That statue should be guarded by armed security guards 24 hours a day, because now it’s a stunning work of art worth more than that Mona Lisa painting. María Luisa Menéndez should be celebrated as the greatest restoration artist of every generation for finally portraying the Baby Jesus in his true form. Because we all know that Baby Jesus did look like a cholita brown-headed Cathy Rigby. It just makes sense.
Pic: La Nueva Espana