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Controversial Obama Painting to be Showcased

Oct 29, 2012 08:13 AM EDT by Kristyan Morgan

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To mark President Barack Obama’s 100th day in office, artist Michael D’Antuono decided to launch his latest painting, The Truth, that shows the president posed as Jesus Christ on the cross.

The painting was to be unveiled in Union Square Park, New York City, but due to public outrage the unveiling had to be cancelled.

According to an interview on Air America quoted in Art and Response, D'Antuono said he cancelled the show "because the overwhelming, 98 percent, were very upset on a religious level. And they were calling it blasphemy. I don't apologize for creating and showing it, but I really didn't mean to disrespect people's religion. It's meant as a political piece."

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Now, almost four years after the incident, the controversial painting of will get a second chance to be displayed publically at the "Artists On The Stump - The Road To The White House 2012" at Boston's BHCC Art Gallery from October 29 through December 15.

The painting shows Obama on the cross complete with a crown of thorns. His outstretched hands appear to pull back the dark veils covering the Presidential Seal.

Though the artist received many negative comments for the religious reference in the painting, D’Antuono insisted that the image was purely political.

"The religious reference was used metaphorically and not to insult anyone's religious beliefs. If that is the effect that my art has had on anyone, I am truly sorry," D'Antuono was quoted in Art and Response.

D’Antuono is also contributing five other paintings to the group show that showcases different aspects of the condition of our democracy in this election season. One of them is titled "Trick Or Treat?" that shows the difference in the two presidential candidates' agendas.

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