Many detractors of President Obama claim that he has a "messianic" personality.
They believe that he believes that he is some kind of messiah whose job it is to "save" the rest of us.
Frankly, I think that's an over-the-top assessment of the president. But the belief, or fear, that he has these tendencies is taking hold, especially among conservatives who find his attempts to fix the economy and improve social conditions intrusive and beyond the traditional role of government.
Now an artist has painted his vision of a messianic Obama, a painting that will be on display today at New York City's Union Square.
Michael D'Antuono says his painting, "The Truth" has, during its previous private showings, raised eyebrows and spurred discourse on the nation's current political climate and deep partisan divide.
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.
D'Antuono says the 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, he anticipates, will be seen by one viewer at a time behind a voting booth-inspired public installation.
D'Antuono is best known for his iconic celebrity portraits and romantic narratives. This is his first foray into political subject matter.
"Aided by the media, politics has taken a nasty turn in the last decade," he says. "I firmly believe that this is one of the underlying causes of our nation's current problems."