‘Forgotten Man’ Painting Shows President Obama Trampling Constitution

The Forgotten Man by Jon McNaughton

The Forgotten Man by Jon McNaughton

Peter M. Vilo reports on the currently raging controversy for CBS Las Vegas:

In front of the White House a man is sitting on a park bench in the throes of depression. He is surrounded by all 43 presidents. In the forefront, purposefully ignoring the depressed man is President Obama, whose right foot is stepping on the Constitution. James Madison is next to Obama, pleading with him to stop.

This tableau is called “The Forgotten Man”, a painting by Jon McNaughton, an artist who is known for his politically-charged work.

The painting, which uses objects such as discarded dollar bills as symbols and scraps of paper with individual constitutional amendments scrawled onto them, has been making the rounds across the Internet.

The painting was initially released in 2010 and has resurfaced, causing a stir when it appeared for a caption contest on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s blog.

The responses have ranged from sarcastic — “We’ll trade you this peasant for that constitution. We’ll even throw in the bench.” – to Photoshop works of art.

McNaughton released an accompanying YouTube video for his painting. The video shows McNaughton painting the piece with a soundtrack that emulates a movie trailer.

“For a long time I didn’t know if I wanted to paint this picture, because I worried it might be too controversial,” McNaughton explains in a voice over. “(T)his man (on the park bench) represents every man, woman, and child who is an American… he hopes to find the American dream of happiness and prosperity…

[continues at CBS Las Vegas]


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23 Comments on "‘Forgotten Man’ Painting Shows President Obama Trampling Constitution"

  1. If I were Obama, as a black man, I don’t think I’d want to put my back to that large an assembly of white men.  I know for a fact that some in that crowd own slaves!  Watch out Barack!

  2. Liam_McGonagle | Feb 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm |

    Obama is NOT “trampling” on the constitution, o.k.?!

    Jezus, the hype some people will stoke up to sell a paining.

    It’s just stuck to Obama’s shoe after he left the restroom.  You know, like any other piece of discarded TP used to whipe the *rse of every president since Roosevelt.

  3. m1kesa1m0ns | Feb 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm |

    because the right wing nutjubs are going to turn us all into fabulously wealthy, model white christians when they seize control! Right? We are going to be sooooo happy!

  4. andshold | Feb 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

    It seems to me that this is also the same warning that Dwight Eisenhower
    gave in his famous farewell address of 1961, in which he, in quite
    vituperative language, quite undiplomatic language — one ought to go
    back and read Eisenhower.  He was truly alarmed when he spoke of the rise
    of a large arms industry that was beyond supervision, that was not
    under effective control of the interests of the military-industrial
    complex, a phrase that he coined. We know from his writings that he
    intended to say a military-industrial-congressional complex. He was
    warned off from going that far. But it’s in that sense that I believe
    the nexus — or, that is, the incompatibility between domestic democracy
    and foreign imperialism comes into being.

    -Chalmers Johnson

    • saint_al | Feb 7, 2012 at 7:13 pm |

      Bathetic. Another long-haired Jesus in the Warner (“Head of Christ”) Sallman style. Zero subtlety. Now move your cursor over the pic- all the subjects are tagged! McNaughton’s comments are also noteworthy.
      If Thomas Kincaid did work that actually featured human subjects, it would look something like this.

  5. YaBooSucksToYouFascists | Feb 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

    Love how Reagan and all the other Republicans are the only ones who notice the down-on-his-luck guy.  SURE, just like in real life, right?  What a sad joke.  I am not a fan of Obama but this painting is lame as shit, the painter should be embarrassed for creating this garbage.  Political hackery propaganda.

    • Liam_McGonagle | Feb 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

      You’ve got a point.  Even if a person were to hold similar partisan sentiments to those of the painter, he/she would still have to judge it as execrable as a piece of “art”.  Theme is about as subtle as a sledgehammer, and totally uninteresting from the point of views of technique and composition.

    • Liam_McGonagle | Feb 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm |

      Well, that one is a bit more interesting.

      De gustibus non disputandum est, and all of that, but I found the Obama bit sadly uninspired.  The Cthulhu theme is slightly more engaging, but still looks like the ideal medium would be black velvet and glow-in-the-dark paint.  You know, cheap un- or barely-imaginative one-trick pony stuff.

      • Check out the link below, posted by Jaspbleu…the Cthulhu painting is actually a re-imagining of a Jesus-themed painting by McNaughton. 

  6. Right Wing Propaganda.  As much as Obama is a signal disappointment for Progressives, this artist turns out to be just another GOPig who thinks the destruction of the Republic we are witnessing is solely the work of Obama, the sock puppet of Wall St. while Ronald Reagan who villified the poor (remember his BS story of the “Welfare Queen”?) is portrayed as somehow giving a crap about the bum in the foreground while FDR who put the fear of God into Wall Street crooks looks on approvingly. TOTAL BS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • TruthersSoSmart | Feb 8, 2012 at 5:48 am |

      No kidding.  You can’t get much worse than Reagan/Bush.  To actually postulate that these guys were concerned about the downtrodden than any given Democrat is so laughably absurd it makes my guts hurt.  Reagan was about the biggest fascist to ever hold office, but that trend continued all the way down the line, Democrat or Republican.  Anyone who plays sides like this painter is a supremely ignorant moron.


  8. gwen jackson | Feb 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm |

    “For a long time I didn’t know if I wanted to paint this picture,
    because I worried it might be too controversial,” McNaughton explains in
    a voice over. “
    He continues, “But, with the economy so bad, not many people can afford my shitty, mediocre artwork anymore, and I saw an opportunity to cash in big time by creating a contrived controversy while pandering to the lowest common denominator. Because, y’know, it’s ART…(nudge nudge wink wink).”

  9. gwen jackson | Feb 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm |

     “My name is John McNaughton, but you can just call me “Aspiring Fame Whore, that’s my official title.”

  10. chinagreenelvis | Feb 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm |

    I nearly stopped reading his explanations for the painting after he claimed that Obama has policies for “redistribution of wealth.” I refuse to acknowledge people who cling to right-wing myths, and I cannot take this painting seriously after knowing that it is based on one. Seriously, he mentions “czars” in the link, “What Has Obama Done?” I’m reminded of the ignorant, Glen Beck fans that were interviewed during the Tea Party rallies.

  11. InTheDoldrums | Feb 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm |

    Madison was an elitist little piece of shit, fuck him.

  12. And all the other previus presidents that “trampled” on the constitution?

  13. justagirl | Feb 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm |

    woah. it should be called “the token president”.  such drama.

  14. Dustinspagnola | Feb 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm |

    obama signed the ndaa 2012. it allows for the indefinite imprisonment of american citizens.

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