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Oklahoma City woman's art featuring weapon-toting Virgin Mary gaining national spotlight
An Oklahoma City woman's art of a gun-toting Virgin Mary is gaining national attention for combining a beloved religious icon with weaponry.Marilyn Artus' exhibit "Our Lady of the Anti-Personnel Weapon And Her Stepford Friends” includes artwork featuring the religious icon holding a knife and a hand grenade. Another shows a nun holding a machine gun. The exhibit opens today at the a.k.a. gallery, 3001 Paseo in the Paseo Arts District. Artus, 42, and several pieces from her exhibit were recently featured in a local television news report. She said after several affiliates in other areas of the country also aired the report, a news crew from the Spanish-language network Univision from Los Angeles came to Oklahoma City to interview her. The artist said she found out some people found her work offensive when she viewed the comments on one TV affiliate's Facebook page. She said about 50 percent of the people commenting on the artwork were offended by it, while the other 50 percent were supportive of it. "I was really honored that they were coming out and talking to me, honored that my work was moving people and making people think,” Artus said. "I wasn't flattered that people were offended, but I can't control what people think.” Artus' exhibit will feature nine pieces of artwork that she calls collages. The weapons being held by the Virgin Mary in Artus' art are embroidered in pink or yellow. The artwork also features vintage ads promoting products for women such as lingerie and hair nets. For example, one picture of the Virgin Mary holding a pink-embroidered small handgun is surrounded by sections of a vintage Frederick's of Hollywood lingerie newspaper ad touting the promotion line "Make Her Over to Please You.
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