You're not seeing things and it is not a spoof picture from The Onion or any other satirical website. The image you see to the right (larger version below the fold) is a painting by artist Michael D'Antuono called "The Truth" that will be officially unveiled at Union Square in New York City on April 29 to mark President Barack Obama's hundreth day in office. Here are the details from the official press release:
Can You Handle 'The Truth'?
-- Michael D'Antuono may raise more questions than answers when he unveils his highly controversial new painting, "The Truth" on the South Plaza of NYC's Union Square on the 100th day of Barack Obama's presidency. The artist's politically-, religiously- and socially-charged statement on our nation's current political climate and deep partisan divide has been privately raising eyebrows (and voices) since its creation.
The 30" x 54" acrylic painting on canvas depicts President Obama appearing much like Jesus Christ on the Cross; atop his head, a crown of thorns. Behind him, the dark veil being lifted (or lowered) on the Presidential Seal. But is he revealing or concealing and is he being crucified or glorified?
D'Antuono insists that this piece is a mirror; reflecting the personal opinions and emotions of the viewer; that "The Truth" like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. D'Antuono expects that individual interpretations will vary as widely as they do in the political arena. The work will be seen by one viewer at a time behind a voting booth-inspired public installation.
Until now, Mr. D'Antuono has chosen to paint purely non-political subject matter, opting instead for iconic celebrity portraits and hard-luck romantic narratives. However, now the artist feels the need to make a statement. "Aided by the media, politics has taken a nasty turn in the last decade and I firmly believe that this is one of the underlying causes of our nation's current problems," says D'Antuono.
"The Truth" will be on exhibit on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the South Plaza of Union Square Park at 14th Street in New York City.