Art And Response

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.

ArtThreat.com – Michael D’Antuono challenges US government’s monetary redistribution

February 24th, 2012

Art Threat

(Original Article at Art Threat)

Michael D’Antuono’s work is striking. His background as an illustrator sets a foundation for a remarkable oil painting style – deep shadows all set among poignant messages. After years of being instructed what to draw, the contraction of severe tendonitis led him to lay down the pencils and pick up oil painting – a move he says does not pay as well, but is much more rewarding. (more…)

Sundance Channel – Independence (from oil) Day

July 2nd, 2009

Sundance Channel

Independence (from oil) Day

July 2, 2009

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

Independence

The concept of July 4th as “Oil Independence Day” or “Energy Independence Day” has been floating around for several years: everyone from bloggers to magazines to the Speaker of the House has touted the concept. This July 4th, New York-based artist Michael D’Antuono will add his voice to the debate with the unveiling of the paintings Dependence and Independence in Washington Square’s Garibaldi Plaza.

D’Antuono recently raised a furor with his painting The Truth, which celebrated President Obama’s 100th day in office. The painting portrayed the president wearing a crown of thorns and posed as if crucified — the religious right was not amused. The new paintings like won’t stir up the same level of vitriol… let’s hope they do stir up more meaningful conversation on our energy future, though.

Interview With Marc Maron on Air America

April 29th, 2009

Scottscope

Marc interviews New York artist Michael D’Antuono who unveils his controversial Obama painting on the show.

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