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[Readings]

Martyr Complex

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From emails received by Michael D’Antuono in response to his painting The Truth, which depicts President Barack Obama in a crucifixion-like pose and wearing a crown of thorns. D’Antuono originally planned to show the painting in New York City in 2009, but after receiving more than 4,000 emails about the work, he canceled the exhibition. The Truth appeared publicly for the first time last October at the Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery, in Boston.

The Truth is a nice painting, but I fear that the thorned crown will only embolden those who criticize his supposed image as some religious “Savior” for those of us who support him. Americans need to view Obama professionally.

Typical atheist pig. Doesn’t believe in the real Jesus so thinks Obama is God. Just like artists in Germany got money to help Hitler.

What’s next? Something glorifying the gulags?

The truth is your picture is blasphemous. Not only is Obama not Christlike, he is closer to Lucifer. How could someone who thinks he is God possibly believe in someone else as the Son of God?

I don’t know you at all, but chances are that you are angry at God, probably gay, and probably had a lonely or abusive childhood.

You ROCK! Best political piece of art I’ve ever seen. I can’t stand Obama, but I’d absolutely love to own this masterpiece.

We’re twenty years removed from Serrano’s Piss Christ. Once you’ve drenched the Son of God in urine, merely proclaiming the president to be a suit-clad messiah is a bit boring.

Love it. Shows what he thinks he is, but is the exact opposite. You nailed it, literally.

I find it most amusing that you used acrylic rather than a true medium like oils or watercolor — but then what better way to depict the false, self-proclaimed Messiah?

A noose around his neck instead of thorns on his head would have made this stupid fucking painting a lot better.

The truth is that you have deliberately manufactured an image to be visually provocative yet politically ambiguous. It is content-free. The image contains no “truth.”

My father told me of your painting today over lunch. One of his first comments was, “I can’t imagine he’d be willing to pose for something like that.”

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February 2013