This is our favorite picture. We love when it's on display in our front window or at events we attend. Most people love it. Some hate it. Occasionally, it stirs up a great conversation and after 30 minutes we realize we have to get back to work. It's interesting to see the people that immediately label it as racist although it's clearly not about race, or even party affiliation.
From the Artist:
Against the background of a darkening sky, all of the past Presidents of the United States gather before the White House, as if to commemorate some great event. In the left hand corner of the painting sits a man. That man, with his head bowed appears distraught and hopeless as he contemplates his future. Some of the past Presidents try to console him while looking in the direction of the modern Presidents as if to say, "What have you done?" Many of these modern Presidents, seemingly oblivious to anything other than themselves, appear to be congratulating each other on their great accomplishments. In front of the man, paper trash is blowing in the wind. Crumpled dollar bills, legislative documents, and, like a whisper—the U.S. Constitution beneath the foot of Barack Obama.
McNaughton Responses to Criticisms of The Forgotten Man
I would like to take a minute to explain some of the points of confusion for those who wish to interpret my picture.Why did I paint this? Like many Americans I feel shock at the direction our country is heading. There is a great polarizing effect taking place in America today. There are many who swoon over Obama's policies of redistribution of wealth. What will the government give me? If you believe this is the proper role of government you will certainly see great CHANGE in your lifetime. I wanted to paint a picture that portrays the plight of the common man. Perhaps the FM is already experiencing this now or will in the future. My hope is that he will "wake up!" now before it is too late.
* There is no racial meaning or undertone that the FM is not black. This is not a racial painting; it is about the vanishing of the American dream.
* It is not a partisan painting. I take no favoritism of Republicans or Democrats. Both parties are guilty.
* The only solution I offer is to take a 180 degree turn and return to the principles of the Constitution, which define a limited government, protect individual and states' rights and make no allowance for any of the baggage we have accumulated over the years in the form of entitlement programs. The only way to cure the cancer is to root it out and endure the painful healing. Perhaps, with God's help, we will survive.
* 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 words as do the brushstrokes in my painting.
* I have endeavored to keep this information simple and to the point. The information is historical, if it is not familiar to you Google it.
* I picked the trashed papers based on the issues that I believe have been the most damaging to America. These issues have been trampled by politicians of both parties for over a century. When will the American people decide to defend the Forgotten Man? Let us raise our voices together and demand the kind of CHANGE that will truly save our way of life.
* Why did I not mention critical information about some Presidents which defined their presidencies? My only purpose is to identify each President and with simplicity express what they have done to either help or hinder the Forgotten Man. I invite all to search deeper into the history of the painting's message and discover if what I paint is true. Can you truly say our house is in order when our debt is stealing away the future of every man woman and child in America?
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