Jon McNaughton, a conservative Utah artist, has released a controversial new painting: an image of President Obama burning the Constitution. The painting is called “One Nation Under Socialism.”
McNaughton, who is described by Salon as “the right’s Shepard Fairey” and who also creates Thomas Kinkade-esque landscapes and holiday paintings, has gained notoriety for some of his previous anti-Obama paintings: He has depicted the president trampling the Constitution and enslaving Americans in chains. In response to an article on the Blaze asking whether his work was free speech or offensive, McNaughton replied on his Facebook page, “I for one am deeply offended. I can't believe I had to paint this in our own country. Stand up and be heard America!!”
Though the painting has won McNaughton many fans among conservatives, art critics can’t be counted among them. Jerry Saltz, critic for New York magazine, told CBSDC that the painting is “typical propaganda art, drop-dead obvious in message” and “visually dead as a doornail.”
“It panders and preaches to the converted and tells them what they already believe,” Saltz told CBSDC.
Certainly, as an artist, McNaughton is free to express himself in ways that others might find offensive — just as artists across the political aisle from him are. But if the idea of Obama burning the Constitution represents everything you abhor in this world, it’s hard to imagine wanting to see his face on the walls of your home every day. Nevertheless, potential collectors can buy the painting in various sizes, ranging from a $24 unframed print to a $435 framed giclee canvas.
What do you think of McNaughton’s painting — both artistically and about what it represents? Tell us in the comments below.