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Utah Artist’s Painting Draws Controversy

Reported by: Emily Florez

With the stroke of a brush artist Jon McNaughton is forcing people here in the state to think a little bit.

His last painting depicted Jesus holding the U.S. Constitution, and his latest work shows President Obama stepping on it.

“I don’t feel good about what’s happening in our country,” said Jon McNaughton the artist of new controversial piece ‘The Forgotten Man.’

Through various subtle images this local artist has depicted a very bold personal message.

“I’m one American speaking to another American,” McNaughton explained.

The piece is titled ‘The Forgotten Man,’ “I feel like our Presidents have really forgotten who put them there,” he said.

It’s symbolic of our countries condition in the eyes of artist Jon McNaughton.

“The flag being at half mass usually happens when there is a tragedy in the country. I have painted the flag at half mass because I feel that right now our country is experiencing a tragedy at monumental proportions,” McNaughton said.

The painting includes every U.S. President, with conservative presidents on one side and liberals on the other, “I’m not saying these are your innocent presidents and these are the guilty, because a lot of them have done things that in a sense have trampled the Constitution,” said McNaughton.

And President Obama right in front represented as standing on the Constitution.

“It’s a powerful statement. Obama has done things that I believe are unconstitutional since he has been in office,” McNaughton said.

McNaughton says this piece is more a personal thing than anything else. “This is just one artists feelings. My personal feelings about what’s happening in the country. This is about fiscal policy and how it’s ruining our country,” he said.

And after painting for more than 25 years now McNaughton says he knew this would cause a stir. “There was a guy that came right up to my face and he said, ‘You’re despicable!’ Art is supposed to get people to think and to feel and I think if that’s what I’m doing then I’m successful,” McNaughton said. “People that look at this are either going to like it or hate it depending on how they feel about Obama.”

Since the painting has been released McNaughton has received controversial attention from Fox Nation, Michelle Malkin, The Blaze, Wonkette, and Huffington Post.

For those interested in viewing the painting and reading about the symbolism behind it visit www.mcnaughtonart.com

McNaughton responses to Criticisms of The Forgotten Man

I would like to take a minute to explain some of the points of confusion for those who wish to interpret my picture.

  • Why did I paint this? Like many Americans I feel shock at the direction our country is heading. There is a great polarizing effect taking place in America today. There are many who swoon over Obama’s policies of redistribution of wealth. What will the government give me? If you believe this is the proper role of government you will certainly see great CHANGE in your lifetime. I wanted to paint a picture that portrays the plight of the common man. Perhaps the FM is already experiencing this now or will in the future. My hope is that he will “wake up!” now before it is too late.
  • There is no racial meaning or undertone that the FM is not black. This is not a racial painting; it is about the vanishing of the American dream.
  • It is not a partisan painting. I take no favoritism of Republicans or Democrats. Both parties are guilty.
  • The only solution I offer is to take a 180 degree turn and return to the principles of the Constitution, which define a limited government, protect individual and states’ rights and make no allowance for any of the baggage we have accumulated over the years in the form of entitlement programs. The only way to cure the cancer is to root it out and endure the painful healing. Perhaps, with God’s help, we will survive.
  • Is it disrespectful to have in my painting the President of the United States standing on the Constitution? Is the President without reproach? I am simply one American speaking to another American. The painting symbolically suggests the actions of Barack Obama as well as other presidents. Yes, their actions speak louder than words—as do the brushstrokes in my painting.
  • I have endeavored to keep this information simple and to the point. The information is historical, if it is not familiar to you—Google it.
  • I picked the trashed papers based on the issues that I believe have been the most damaging to America. These issues have been trampled by politicians of both parties for over a century. When will the American people decide to defend the Forgotten Man? Let us raise our voices together and demand the kind of CHANGE that will truly save our way of life.
  • Why did I not mention critical information about some Presidents which defined their presidencies? My only purpose is to identify each President and with simplicity express what they have done to either help or hinder the Forgotten Man. I invite all to search deeper into the history of the painting’s message and discover if what I paint is true. Can you truly say our house is in order when our debt is stealing away the future of every man woman and child in America?

Views: 8

Tags: Conservative, Constitution, God, Obama

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Comment by William H Flake on June 9, 2011 at 6:34pm
You have provided a real treat. Thank you. I, unlike others who have commented, had not seen this and was not aware of Jon McNaughton. I thank you for taking the time to post this. I relate to this man and his art for many reasons.
Comment by Zoraida † Welcome Committee on June 9, 2011 at 4:50pm
I have his videos under my blogs, so I am aware of this. I feel he is a talented artist and gets his message across.
Comment by Walter Pearson on June 9, 2011 at 3:36pm
This hits home, for sure. Making lib heads spin, till they realize 'art' like the Cross in urine, feces, ... (you get the 'picture') is all so acceptable...yet this would not be? No ground to stand on in terms of eliminating this work from public thought. It's out there, and opinions are just that - and thank God we have talents in our midst that bring it to bear. Great share, Sarah!

N. Director
Comment by Darla Dawald on June 9, 2011 at 3:34pm
Seen this many times... he is very talented.
Comment by Stonelion on June 9, 2011 at 3:20pm
Paintings are right on.Thank you Sarah for posting them along with the response by McNaughton to critics.
Comment by James L Edwards on June 9, 2011 at 3:20pm
Thanks Sarah!  I have seen the President painting before and really liked the statement it makes about respecting the Constitution!
Comment by Steve Phillips on June 9, 2011 at 3:07pm
Great post Sarah.
Comment by Maggie Sieckman on June 9, 2011 at 3:03pm
AWESOME!
Comment by Marsha Clark on June 9, 2011 at 3:02pm

The painting speaks for itself! We are in desperate need of leaders who respects the Constitution and the God given rights of all citizens!

 

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