Michael D’Antuono’s “The Truth:”
I first came across the above painting a couple of days ago when a friend emailed me. I emailed back saying that we live in a free country and every mediocre artist has a right to paint whatever they best please.
But let’s take a second look at the painting:
The bizarre picture of Barack Obama in Messianic imagery (which is starting to become routine) imbued in Christian symbols while dressed in red, white and blue, is appalling to a Christian. The painting was to be unveiled in New York tomorrow, which happens to be President Obama’s 100th day in office.
Michael D’Antuono has decided that he won’t unveil the painting now. Thousands of people have seen the painting but now he won’t unveil it. Why? Because he didn’t intend to have a religious debate:
I just thought that through that painting people would see different things. The right and the left would have different interpretations of it based on their political lens. But I have to admit I was very surprised that instead of that I got thousands of email complaining on the religious front. And that was not my intent at all. I wanted to create a dialog politically but not religiously. I didn’t mean to make fun of anybody’s religion; maybe I did so naively but I didn’t mean it that way. In the bible Jesus is The Truth and comparing Obama that way isn’t something I meant to do at all.
- Obama with his arms extended, as Jesus’s arms on the cross
- The crown of thorns, an instrument of Jesus’s torture
- The curtain, which refers to St. Luke, 24, 44: And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst
And, to top it off, this statement at Michael D’Antuono’s own website:
“More than a presidential portrait, ‘The Truth’ is a politically, religiously and socially-charged statement on our nation’s current political climate and deep partisan divide that is sure to create a dialogue.”
The truth is that D’Antuono – by saying now that he didn’t intend to bring up a religious debate in the first place – is lying.
I’ll leave it to The Anchoress to discuss the painting from a Catholic’s point of view. My point is that D’Antuono tried to be a provocateur but chickened out at the last moment.