Michael D'Antuono's Art And Response

Fox News – Bunker Hill Community College artist depicts Obama with crown of thorns

November 26th, 2012

Fox News | Boston 11/26/12

Fox news Boston

[This is a localized version of the article originally published at MyFoxBoston.com]

 

FOX News – A painting that features President Obama posed as Jesus Christ crucified on a cross is on display at a community college art gallery in Boston.

The painting by Michael D’Antuono is part of a larger exhibit called “Artists on the Stump – the Road to the White House 2012.” It’s on display at the Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery until Dec. 15th.

The painting is called “Truth” – and shows the president on the cross with his arms outstretched. A crown of thorns rests on his head.

It was originally supposed to debut nearly four years ago at New York City’s Union Square. But that event was cancelled 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 told Fox News. “We should celebrate the fact that we live in a country where we are given the freedom to express ourselves.”

A spokesperson for the art gallery told Fox News there hasn’t been any criticism of the painting.

D’Antuono said the public exhibition “has afforded me the ability to right a wrong.”

He dismissed critics who called the display blasphemous.

“The crucifixion of the president was meant metaphorically,” he told Fox News. “My intent was not to compare him to Jesus.”

D’Antuono blamed the controversy on conservative media “trying to promote the idea that liberals believe the president to literally be our savior.”

In the aftermath of his aborted first attempt – the artist said he received more than 4,000 emails containing messages that were “anything but Christian-like.”

“But I accepted that it is their right to express themselves and hope that they now see it in their hearts to afford me the same right,” he said.

The American – The Reality Behind ‘The Truth’

November 25th, 2012

The American

The American

The Reality behind ‘The Truth’

Michael D’Antuono has, in the course of a few months in 2009, become one of the world’s most controversial artists. But unlike many deliberately ‘shocking’ new wave artists, D’Antuono claims that this notoriety has come about by accident rather than design.

D’Antuono’s painting, “The Truth”, was splashed all over the internet and became a media sensation, featured in The LA Times and The National Review, and on many TV and (more…)

D’Antuono Lends a Ham at Occupy Wall Street Event

September 4th, 2012

Artist Michael D’Antuono made his first appearance as Wall Street Wally (the greedy corporate hog) at Liberty Square on Thursday, October 6th. There he was greeted by an admiring crowd taking pictures with him as he handed out free posters of his American Pie painting.

Don't Feed the Greed

ScottsMindField.com – Artist Michael D’Antuono Tells ‘A Tale of Two Hoodies’

April 21st, 2012

Scottscope

Artist Michael D’Antuono Tells ‘A Tale of Two Hoodies’

Saturday, April 21, 2012

[This is a localized version of the article originally published at ScottsMineField.com]

A young Black child in a white hoodie offers a policeman some of his Sweetiescandy.  The officer, who is wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood along with his uniform, points his police issue semi-automatic Glock pistol at the child’s head.  They both stand in front of an American flag, the center of which has been torn away to reveal the confederate battle flag underneath.

A Tale of Two Hoodies

The scenario described above isn’t from a fever nightmare.  It’s the scene depicted in artist Michael D’Antuono’s painting “A Tale of Two Hoodies.”  As the title suggests, it’s inspired by the Trayvon Martin murder.  It’s an inflammatory image, to be sure.  Some might call it extreme or even irresponsible.  Alas, Extreme emotions often require extreme measures to be properly articulated. (more…)

Wagist – The Racist Art of Michael D’Antuono

April 13th, 2012

Scottscope

[This is a localized version of the article originally published at Wagist.com]

Artist Michael D’Antuono released his take on the Trayvon Martin shooting this week, with a piece entitled, “A Tale of Two Hoodies.”

Two Hoodies

It portrays George Zimmerman as Caucasian, wearing a police uniform and a KKK hood, and pointing his firearm directly at Trayvon Martin’s head. It shows Trayvon Martin as being approximately four feet tall, ten years old, and offering the gun-brandishing Zimmerman a pack of Sweeties candy. (more…)

Agabond.com – Michael D’Antuono “A Tale Of Two Hoodies”

April 4th, 2012

Abagond

Michael D’Antuono: A Tale of Two Hoodies

Saturday, April 4, 2012

[This is a localized version of the article originally published at Abagond.Wordpress.com]

A Tale of Two Hoodies

“A Tale of Two Hoodies” (2012) is an oil painting by Michael D’Antuono, a White American artist.  It shows a white policeman in a Klan hood holding a gun on a little black boy in a white hoodie while he holds up a bag of Sweeties that looks like a bag of Skittles. On the wall behind them a dirty American flag is partly peeled away to show the Confederate flag that whites fought under to defend slavery.

D’Antuono says of the painting:

Inspired by the Trayvon Martin case, this painting symbolizes the travesty of racially profiling innocent children and how present day prejudices affect policy.

The important word here is “inspired”. That means he was thinking about the Trayvon Martin case when he painted it, not that it is a painting of the Trayvon Martin case. It is not a piece of news reporting like this picture from the Vietnam War of a suspected traitor being shot in the head on the street:

Instead, like most of his pictures, it is about the state of America, much like Norman Rockwell’s “The Problem We All Live With” (1964):

“A Tale of Two Hoodies”, whether intended or not, shows at least three truths about race in America not seen through the white lens:

  1. The asymmetry of racism – Many whites see blacks and whites as being equally racist and equally powerful. Yet blacks are outnumbered by whites by more than 5 to 1. Whites have a hundred times more wealth. They run most of the institutions of society. That would not matter if they were not racist, but they are, so it does.  The picture shows that imbalance: not only does the white person hold the gun, he is older and bigger and is pointing the gundown at the black person, making it even more asymmetric than the Vietnam War picture. The picture can also be read as “stealing candy from a baby” – which pretty much sums up the relationship that whites have had with blacks from that moment some 500 years ago when they arrived in Africa with – guns.
  2. The Klan with the badge – That might seem over the top but it is not. The police and the Klan have a common root in the slave patrols. So much so that my picture of the police was pretty much that of a slave patrol – before I even knew what a slave patrol was! The police get away with murder, racially profile, act above the law and see blacks more as some kind of threat than as people to protect.
  3. Whites have not changed deep down – as shown by how the Confederate flag was right there behind the American flag the whole time. Most white people are like that. You can tell because they are more upset at being called a racist than at being a racist.

In that he painted about race in a Rockwellian style, it brings to mind ”The Problem We All Live With” and how little progress has been made.


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