A painting by artist John McNaughton caused quite of bit of controversy last week, and now he’s saying that sales of the much-talked-about work are through the roof.
You might have seen the painting, entitled “The Forgotten Man,” circulating around Facebook and other social networks. And the commentary provided was probably either laudatory or derisive, depending on the sharer’s political leanings.
The controversy, as you can see, arose from the imagery used in the forefront. It depicts President Obama trampling on the U.S. Constitution.
Apparently, all of the controversy has led to a boom in business. McNaughton tells CBS Las Vegas that he sold “in one day, what we would sell in three months.” After the painting went viral, he says that traffic to his site increased at such a pace that it crashed it. It took four attempts before the site was functioning again.
It’s probably not surprising that many people said that the painting was inherently racist. A group of former presidents (of course, all white) look on with amazement and derision as the first black president steps on the nation’s most important document.
McNaughton responds to this criticism by saying that “this is not a racial painting – it is about the vanishing of the American dream.”
The only exception to the disapproving faces is the handful of historical democrats – Clinton, F.D.R. – that seem to applaud the action. However, McNaughton also says that the painting isn’t partisan. “I take no favoritism of Republicans of Democrats. Both parties are guilty,” he says.
The painting itself is more than a year old, but it seems to have hit a resurgence after it appeared on the popular blog of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.
Apparently, McNaughton isn’t planning on calling it quits on painting controversial political subjects. His next painting is called “One Nation, Under Socialism.”