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]