Art And Response
Michael D’Antuono’s art is meant to challenge people to think more deeply about serious issues and inspire them to improve sociopolitical conditions. The paintings and the site are meant to encourage meaningful discourse. We encourage you to have your voice heard and welcome your thoughts under each piece of art.
Paintings Happenings Blog Video
facebook-badge

press pic new Store About
Michael D’Antuono info@artandresponse.com (845) 440-6634

The Irony Of Trump’s Question, “Is This Nazi Germany?”

January 15th, 2017

Michael D'Antuono's painting, "Alt Reich" compares Trump regime to Hitler's Nazi GermanyA man with a funny haircut becomes the head of a nation by the demonization of non-Christian, non-white people. Sound familiar?

I understand that by now you’ve heard all the comparisons between Trump and Hitler. But better to repeat the comparisons than to repeat history. We all know how well the other authoritarian demagogue’s regime worked out. I’m not predicting Heir Trump will start occupying other countries or killing jewish people. Hopefully, the only empire Trump wants to build is his own business. He and his Republican allies will however cause the deaths of millions of (disproportionately non-white) citizens  through the repeal of Obamacare and the privatization of Medicaid and Medicare. I do think it’s fair to say Trump’s closest advisers, Steve Bannon and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions are to say the least, white supremacy friendly.

Sure, Ivana Trump revealed that Donald keeps a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bed. And I’m sure that it is no coincidence that the style and rhetoric of his speeches are eerily similar. But that’s just how he got here. It’s his authoritarian tendencies once in power that concern me most. He has disregarded all the conventional rules (and laws) regarding the required constraints of holding the office. To list a few; not releasing his tax returns, not divesting his businesses (or putting them in an actual blind trust), publicly violating the emoluments clause of the constitution, holding confirmation hearings of his cabinet appointees before completing FBI and financial vetting. He’s shutting out the media, you know, the fourth estate, the one responsible for assuring transparency and ongoing examination of the operations of government. And this is all before he is even sworn in. Not being fond of intelligence agencies with information that makes him look bad, he will reorganize the intelligence community to something more comparable to Hitler’s S.S. With a Republican congress (and soon the Supreme Court) watching his back, there are no checks and balances to his power. This is an environment any authoritarian leaning individual would thrive in. Hitler would have a field day. I hope I’m wrong, but the destructive power of the Totalitarian Trump & Putin duo can potentially make Hitler & Mussolini seem as dangerous as Abbott and Costello.

So no Donald, this is not Nazi Germany, but with your regime, you might very well trump them.

Heil to the chief.

Socio-political artist Michael D’Antuono’s latest work graphically depicts Betsy DeVos’s devastating dream for education

January 15th, 2017

Electablog article on Michael D'Antuono painting Class System

Michael D’Antuono is an artist who challenges our social and political beliefs with his hard-hitting and often controversial paintings. His work has been featured here at Eclectablog before (HERE and HERE.)

Just in time for the confirmation hearings of Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, D’Antuono has a new painting out titled “Class System” that graphically depicts DeVos’s tragic and devastating dream for public education in America:

Here is what D’Antuono writes about this provocative new painting:

President-Elect’s pick for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, will have to overcome more than just stiff resistance from Democratic senators, she will be the first appointee to ever be confronted with a painting depicting the dangers of her appointment.

I am releasing my condemnatory visual indictment of a DeVos appointment, titled, “Class System” just in time for DeVos’s confirmation hearing. The painting depicts a stark contrast between two children being transported to school. One, a black child, is boarding a rusted out public school bus with broken windows, the other, a wealthy while child, is being escorted into a private school’s limousine by his chauffeur.

Asked his inspiration for the painting, D’Antuono replied, “Betsy DeVos’s agenda of increased privatization of primary education will exacerbate the inequality of education and expand the opportunity gap for generations.”

Despite all her rhetoric about “school choice” and making schools better through “market solutions” and “competition”, it’s clear that Betsy DeVos’s vision for education in America is all about creating a two-tier system, one where the children of wealthy parents have access to the best education available and another where the rest of the kids are left with the crumbs that remain. And in the process, for-profit charters and religious schools enrich themselves with our tax dollars. D’antuono captures this perfectly in his beautiful artwork.

To learn more about Michael D’Antuono’s incredible art, visit www.ArtandResponse.com.

Article originally appeared here.

Do We Still Live In A Democracy?

December 7th, 2016

Is America still a democracy?

The Will Of The People vs That Of The People They Elected

The election is finally over. With the help of the Electoral College and gerrymandering, the Republican party will control the presidency, the congress, and soon the Supreme Court. But does the Republican party represent the values of the majority of Americans? To answer that, let’s compare the Republican platform with national polls issue by issue.

Electoral College

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, Americans are in favor of deciding the future Presidential elections by direct popular vote 53%-34%. The last two Republican Presidents having won without winning the popular vote, the GOP is of course, against it.

Abortion

Americans polled support Roe v Wade 67% – 30%. The GOP is famously against it.

Supreme Court Nomination

Americans polled thought the Senate should vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee during his term 52%-30%, but the Republican controlled Senate feels differently.

Entitlements

You know those things we paid into all our working lives that Paul Ryan wants to privatize (read take away). According to a CBS News Poll, Americans think the cost of Social Security is worth the benefits 73%-21%. They also are in favor of the government offering everyone a government-administered health insurance (public option) to compete with private insurance 59%-34% while Paul Ryan, and his Republican friends, are against it.

Gun Control

93% of the American public support requiring background checks for all gun buyers.The Republican controlled senate doesn’t even want to discuss it.

Global Warming

61%-10%,  Americans believe most scientific studies conclude that global warming is real (97% of scientists agree). Trump’s pick for Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price believes Global warming is a hoax, voted against having the EPA regulate greenhouse gases and voted no on subsidies for renewable energy as well voting to continue giving subsidies for oil and gas exploration. He also signed a pledge created by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group funded by the Koch brothers, vowing to oppose climate legislation.

Marijuana

60% of Americans polled support the legalization of marijuana. Trump’s pick forAttorney General, Jeff Sessions said, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” and that it was a “very real danger” that is “not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.”

Minimum Wage

58% of Americans polled support increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Republicans, of course are against it.

Trump

Finally, let’s turn specifically to President-elect Donald Trump. The fact that he lost the popular vote by over 2 million people suggests our presidential elections are something other than a truly democratic process. He campaigned on a temporary ban of Muslims entering the U.S.  Americans polled oppose the ban 74%-17%.  Americans polled are also against his proposed wall along our border with Mexico 53%-42%. Yet he won (the Electoral College).

This election defied all the voting polls and (more importantly) polls on the issues (and even more importantly) the popular vote. We gave complete unfettered control to a party that is undeniably and diametrically opposed to the wishes of the majority of Americans. What is the purpose of democracy if it doesn’t fulfill the will of the people? America has never been a direct democracy and at this point in our history, perhaps, not a democracy at all.

Envisioning Election & Politics In 2016

September 30th, 2016

puffin-showI was happy to be asked by Andrew Lee to participate in the Puffin Foundation’s exhibition, “Envisioning Election & Politics In 2016.”  It is a wonderful organization that does great work informing the public about the important issues affecting their lives through creative projects.

 

Black InJustice America (Trailer)

August 9th, 2016

Land of the free? Justice for all? Michael D’Antuono’s short film offers a different perspective, exposing the the deep-rooted racism permeating the criminal justice system in 21st century America. This aim of this film is to elicit enough empathy, outrage and shame to inspire us as a nation to live up to that pledge. The film includes frank interviews with Russell Simmons, Corey Booker, Van Jones, Michael Steele and other notable African Americans concerning their experiences growing up black in America.  (more…)

Truth To Power

July 30th, 2016
Rep. Barbara Lee, Chris Hedges and Michael D'Antuono at Truth To Power

Rep. Barbara Lee, Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and Michael D’Antuono at “Truth To Power” event.

In the shadow of the Democratic Convention, Rock The Vote’s issue oriented event, Truth To Power gathered  A-list entertainers, politicians, activists and artists. I exhibited with Banksy, Shepard Fairey and my friend Ron English, along with many other talented artists. Corey Booker, Van Jones, Susan Sarandon, Rosario Dawson, Danny Glover all spoke on panels. There were musical performances by Black Eyed Peas and Aloe Blac.