A painting depicting President Obama in a religious pose is now on display at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, and it’s garnering some protests from those who think it’s blasphemous.
Artist Michael D’Antuono originally planned to display the piece in an art installation in New York’s Union Square on the president’s 100th day in office, but so many protesters contacted him about it–he received over 4,000 emails–that he canceled the event. It’s something he says he regrets now.
“I always regretted cancelling my exhibit in New York because I feel my First Amendment rights should override someone’s hurt feelings,” D’Antuono said. “We should celebrate the fact that we live in a country where we are given the freedom to express ourselves.”
D’Antuono says the painting is meant to be metaphorical and isn’t a comparison to Christ, but members of the Catholic Church say that’s not good enough. The President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights–Bill Donohue–issued a statement about the artwork recently, saying that since Obama’s re-election, D’Antuono feels it’s safe to display a piece depicting the president’s “crucifixion”.
What makes this display so interesting is the flat denial of truth by so many artists and academicians, as well as their irrepressible hostility to Christianity. Yet when it comes to their savior, President Obama, they not only pivot, they proselytize.
“Truth” was supposed to make its debut on April 29, 2009 in New York’s Union Square; it was to commemorate the first 100 days of Obama’s presidency. But D’Antuono withdrew his masterpiece after being hit with angry e-mails. Now he is back, apparently thinking that after Obama won reelection, the time is ripe to witness his crucifixion. Imagine if his God had lost what our Christmas gift would look like.
It is one thing for the Italian nativity scene builder Ferrigno to include Obama as a figurine in this year’s crèche (it has regularly featured public persons such as Princess Diana), quite another for an angry artist to rip off Christian iconography for the purpose of making a cheap political statement.