Thursday, April 30, 2009

Obama's first 100 days and an artist's response

Yesterday this painting was unveiled on the South Plaza of New York City’s Union Square. Artist Michael D’Antuono work, "The Truth" is a politically, socially and religiously charged statement on our current political climate. This image has received a firestorm of controversy since it's inception and the unveiling has just increased the volume of the voices.
As posted in a PRNewsire article:
D’Antuono insists that this piece is a mirror; reflecting the personal opinions and emotions of the viewer; that “The Truth” like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. D’Antuono expects that individual interpretations will vary as widely as they do in the political arena. The work will be seen by one viewer at a time behind a voting booth-inspired public installation.

The website Artbistro, published the article and allows for view comments. Most of the comments are a resounding negative. It seems that the tone of the comments is clearly divided among conservatives and liberals. The conservative comments are either agnry with Obama and how he has handled his first 100 days, or upset that the image has blatant religious overtones.
One comment by a person listed as Lsf754 stated:
I'm insulted, this is not right. GOD said, " man should not make images of anything on the earth, or the heavens above.......

Where another comment whose name is listed as artifacts said:
This makes my heart hurt. God forgive us.

The more liberal of the viewers were a bit more open with their views. They may have not liked the image as a piece of art, but understood what the artist was going for.
The part I find interesting is that the more liberal comments were much more subdued and calm, whereas the more religious and conservative views were angry, sniping and rude.
Art has always been the social conscious of a nation. The artist can spotlight to the world what is actually going on around us. This painting is a depiction of a man who inherited a country in extreme disarray and in only 100 days has show us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Do I like this painting, yes. It is a bit preachy and obvious but I understand the artist's point of view.
What's your?

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