When artist Soasig Chamaillard repairs statues of the Virgin Mary, they often turn out much stranger than when she began. Chamaillard transforms her battered Madonnas into superheroes, Sailor Scouts, and other powerful modern cultural icons.

Chamaillard explains that she's not out to bash Mary or those who revere her, but instead use the Madonna icon as a vehicle for exploring contemporary cultural totems, especially those that are related to women and women's roles. Those leaps are easier to make when she's cast Mary as Superman or a Jedi knight, but perhaps more intriguing when applied to something like Hello Kitty, who is an appealing and sometimes even comforting figure for so many people. These are some of Chamaillard's geekier works, but she also portrays the Madonna as both cowgirl and Sioux, the patron Saint of GPS, and a Polly Pocket locket, a whole world waiting in her belly.

Sainte Vierge [Soasig Chamaillard via Ian Brooks]