A painting that depicts President Barack Obama as Jesus Christ is being shown at a gallery in Boston. The artwork has sparked the ire of religious groups, including the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights (CLRCR).
New York artist Michael D'Antuono calls his depiction of Obama “The Truth,” Art and Response reported. The painting depicts the President as a crucified Jesus Christ wearing a crown of thorns, with arms outstretched and head tilted down, standing in front of the Seal of the President of the United States.
“This painting was inspired by watching conflicting reports on the same issues on the different cable newscasts and the effect on their viewers,” reads the 30-by-54 canvas painting’s description. “Peoples' perceptions of the issues seem to get distorted though their political lenses. People have had drastically different interpretations from this painting. What you see in this painting will be a reflection of your own partisan view and that is precisely the point.”
"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," says CLRCR president Bill Donohue in a statement. "Yet when it comes to their savior, President Obama, they not only pivot, they proselytize."
Donohue was furious about the painting, and he refered to D’ Antuono as a "left-wing artist known for exploiting racial tensions.” To back this up, the religious group leader mentioned D’ Antuono’s past work depicting George Zimmerman as a Klansman and Trayvon Martin as a generous child, but he said claiming Obama as Christ is a “new low.”
Boston's Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery is home to the controversial paintin; it is part of D'Antuono's "Artists on the Stump - the Road to the White House 2012" collection. The painting was originally intended to be displayed four years ago in New York City’s Union Square, Fox News reported, but the event was canceled due to “public outrage.”
“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, according to Fox News. “We should celebrate the fact that we live in a country where we are given the freedom to express ourselves.”