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Artist cancels showing of unconventional Obama portrait

April 28, 2009 |  6:45 am


A New York artist has canceled the public showing of his portrait of President Obama after receiving a barrage of angry e-mails condemning the religious nature of the work.

"The Truth," a painting by Michael D'Antuono, was scheduled to go on view Wednesday in Union Square in Manhattan to mark the president's first 100 days in office.

The work depicts Obama in a crucifix pose and wearing a crown of thorns, with the presidential seal in the background.

The artist said that he intended to display the acrylic painting in a mock voting booth, with viewers lining up to see it one by one. The booth would have been located on the south side of Union Square, near the Whole Foods grocery store.

"It was supposed to provoke political dialogue," the artist told Culture Monster on Monday. "I wanted to start a discussion. Is Obama being crucified by the right? Do people think he's the next savior?"

D'Antuono said he has received more than 1,000 e-mails, the vast majority of which criticize the use of Christian symbolism in the painting.

"I canceled the showing out of respect for religion. It was not meant to offend so many people," he said. "I don't think it would be helpful to the cause of unity to show it."

-- David Ng

Photo: Image of "The Truth," a painting by Michael D'Antuono. Courtesy of the artist.

Comments () | Archives (38)

He's not portraying Jesus. His body forms the letter "Y" for Yahwey. He's posed in front of Freemason symbols.

The imagery translates to Israel/Jews control the president, the White House and the Pentagon.

The Freemasons are controlled by Jews who founded it. Our founding fathers were Freemasons but they went to church not temple, meaning they did not understand the full extent of the organization they joined. The founding fathers weren't Jews. They were ex-Christians and Deists. They were misled.

Too bad the bible can't teach half these people to spell.

Gosh. Americans and their wisdom. Congrats on all of your very insightful comments. I loved all the obviously accurate accounts of history (the free mason one was def in my fav 5). I was especially tickled by those who "heroically" took no side at all. It takes oh so much courage to... say something without saying anything. I also got a kick out of all the comments who advocate open-mindedness. Oh...go... smoke a bowl hippie.

Now for the sake of not being counted among those who took no side at all, yet thought they sounded wise... What a dumb painting. "For the sake of creating discussion." Your retarded. I think that Obama played the fiddle and you all did a dance. So my hat is off to you as you do your jig and throw out emotionally stimulating words such as hope, open-mindedness, and oh shoot what was the really good one... thats it - change.

He's not portraying Jesus because his arms are to high to be hung on a cross.

He's portraying Yahwey.

Freemasonry uses the book of black magic and a genie lamp as symbols of Judaism.

The imagery states that the pentagon is controlled by Israel. He's a sacrificial lamb of Israel. An Israeli puppet. Who is his Chief of Staff? Rham Emmanuel whose father is an Irgun member.

Brando was fooled too, but awoke and realized he'd given all of his money to financing Irgun, a terrorist organization that was mass murdering Arabs. He woke up, too late, his money was gone. He knew he financed terrorism and admitted he knew it and supported. He said he regretted it only after he realized it was genocide committed by racist and greedy Israel.

What I find interesting is how so many "christians" are upset. The christians killed off the Native Americans. They tortured the Indians for about 300 years. They burned the Jews. They utilized the forced labor of Africans. They instigated the majority of the problems in the Middle East, and 'they' are upstep over a painting...
btw, the painting sucks, however it is funny
Everybody is in an uproar. Where is that conservative free trade when you need it.

If christians want any respect at all they will start acting more like muslims...and be intolerant and violent when your religion is critisized...it works for muslims.

or you can just keep whining, hows that working for you? lol

I agree with Michael Trag way to say it !!!!!I If we didn't give it so much attention then people would'nt waste their time producing things like this.If you are a christian like I am then you know who you are and what you believe.Don't give people the amo to try to take anything else away from us or make any more fun than they already do.The fact is most of the people who voted for Obama look at him like he is our savior-unfortunately I know that they are all going to be terribly disappointed at a terrible cost to themselves and their eternity with my God.Keep the faith America!!!!!!

It's nothing but a mediocre newspaper editorial cartoon dressed up as "art."

"What I find interesting is how so many "christians" are upset. The christians killed off the Native Americans. They tortured the Indians for about 300 years. They burned the Jews. They utilized the forced labor of Africans. They instigated the majority of the problems in the Middle East, and 'they' are upstep over a painting..."

As long as we're making sweeping generalizations and illogical accusations, shall we blame all non-Christians for the millions enslaved, slaughtered, and starved by communist regimes from the Soviet Union to China and Cambodia? Since Marx and Jesus were both Jewish, how about we blame everything on the Jews? That's the form that this sort of thinking has taken in the past.

Wow Jaychick, for someone to say that they are deeply in love with Jesus, you sure choose a funny way to show it. You can't say that you love someone and then defend something that blatantly goes against it. I'm glad the artist chose not to show the portrait, and I'm sick of the claim "Free Speech" when it comes to insulting Christianity but say Anything about any other religion or sexual preference and it's being a Bigot. I'm proud of Christians standing up and voicing their opinion to stop the showing of this portrait!

And besides Gary, I'm pretty sure it wasn't just a rogue band of Christians that went around "killing native americans" That's like saying all Egyptian families sell their 8 year old daughters to middle aged men, and all Muslims blow up anything they don't like. What a terrible thing to say

I have a quick question... what do you mean Free Mason symbols? Like the letters, or the shapes?

I find it interesting that people who have no idea what the word "Christian" means fling it about so carelessly - this includes many people who actually call themselves "Christians". By the way - Gary your as blind as those "Christians" that you find so abhorent - but onto the point.

"Christians are offended"...Seriously? That's what you people took away from this?...A popular professional politican is characterized as a messiah and all you people got from this is that some folks calling themselves "Christians" were offended?

This "art" bears an uncanny resemblence to other historic "art" in cult of personality societies featuring people with first names like Adolph, Josef, Mao, Idi and Sadam. This is sick. Our elected politicians are ostensibly humble public servants, elected by the citizens to "serve". Is there anyone else who thinks this a clear indictment on the collective mental health of the politic Americana?

The artist is sick and led by a the spirit of the Antichrist.

President Obama is a very sick person.

We should pray that he gets out of office before he destroys our whole nation.

Is he saying Obama is being crucified like Christ or Obama is Christ or that Obama is mocking Christ

wow! im stunned! it makes me sick!

Actually, most of the "Founding Fathers" were Free Masons, who envision a unified world of religions, where god created the world, and its up to us to do the best we can with what we have been given. As god is a force that creates, not controls.

Christians deserve no more or less protection than other religions We are NOT a Christian nation, but are one under god, whatever that means to you. Atheists are full of themselves, too proud and self absorbed to admit their own inferiority, and art is now godless. And so impotent, as its all about the individual, not humanity, nature and god, the true holy trinity.

That said, this is an absurdly stupid work, the guy got his pub, if he cant sell it now, he never will. Except at a garage sale.

art collegia delenda est

Sometimes in the "Darkness" people speak. The whole world is discrimination because laws are that way by default. Some people want to drive 100 MPH. The majority spoke up and it is 75 MPH. Some people want to litter. The majority spoke out and imposed thier will on the minority. This is the same case. The majority of the people say it is junk and they won. End of story.

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