Behold: “The Truth”
by Kiko Matsing
Even third rate artists use the Obama mystique for media milage nowadays.
Artist Michael D’Antuono’s painting “The Truth” – featuring Obama with his arms outstretched and wearing a crown of thorns upon his head – will be unveiled on April 29 at the Square’s South Plaza.
What is it with this cultic hero worship of Obama, who has, at most, mixed reviews of his first 100 days?
The odd blurb on the artist’s own website claims that this is a “highly controversial” work–“a politically, religiously, and socially-charged statement… that is sure to create dialogue.” What!?! Is it now the artist’s place to claim their own work as “controversial” and anticipate their own relevance? I thought these things are reported on after the fact, especially if the work in question has not even been unveiled yet!
The press release describes that the “work will be seen by one viewer at a time behind a voting booth-inspired public installation”. Ah, so there’s a twist, a game, an ironic turn. Fine. But the artist, further explains, in the most pedestrian terms, the manner by which the viewer should approach/experience the work:
D’Antuono insists that this 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.
Sheesh! Can anyone get more hack than this?
What I anticipate is that when the viewer finally goes into that booth to behold “The Truth”, he will get, not that spine-tingling encounter with great art for which themes like Also Sprach Zarathustra was written for, but a WTF!?! moment typical of gimmicky postmodern art.