Jon McNaughton’s painting “The Forgotten Man,” is making its way around the Internet and it has a lot of people talking.
The painting depicts President Obama standing on the Constitution with his arms crossed as a dejected “everyman” sits on a park bench surrounded by the 43 former presidents.
Behind the depressed “Forgotten Man” are George Washington, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, who are angered that Obama is ignoring the man on the bench.
Applauding Obama are Bill Clinton, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt.
In the painting we also see a shocked James Madison bending down and reaching for the Constitution, pleading to Obama not to step all over it.
The painting also features ominous skies, which McNaughton calls in the painting the “dark cloud that hangs over this country in the form of uncontrollable Federal Deficit with crushing debt obligations.”
The painting was released in 2010, according to reports.
In the tableau, McNaughton asks “Mr. President, what have you done?”
Behind the 43 presidents sits a glowing White House and the American flag hanging in half-mast.
On his website, McNaughton offers a response to criticisms of the painting:
“Is it disrespectful to have in my painting the President of the United States standing on the Constitution? Is the President without reproach? I am simply one American speaking to another American. The painting symbolically suggests the actions of Barack Obama as well as other presidents. Yes, their actions speak louder than their words—as do the brushstrokes in my painting.”