Wednesday, May 16, 2012

He Can Paint Too ...

Art by Jon McNaughton, my oh my ...










... subtle as a brick in the face.

















I don't know about you, but McNaughton's work to me looks an awful lot like this, except no one smiles in his work (and the Chinese picture is better painted).



I remember back in my commercial mural painting days working for this one big firm, I had a lot of colleagues from the old Soviet Union, one a Lenin Prize winning star of the old Official School.  We got a commission to paint a series of propaganda paintings for a restaurant in Washington DC.  It was supposed to be all jingoistic patriotic drivel, and the work got delegated to that whole crew of former Soviet painters.  One of them said, "Lenin, Washington, it's all the same to us."


Tip of the fedora to Lapinbizarre for telling me about this guy and his work.






12 comments:

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Holy Vaca (reminds me of the Keen paintings of North Beach, San Francisco early ´60s...horrible and saleable)! Hopefully it´s a mail order business and one doesn´t have to actually meet or have eye contact with the customers.

JCF said...

Yeah, McNaughton has been getting some press lately (don't know if that's a good thing---critical press---or obscurity he deserves. Of course, the same analysis was said of Mein Kampf).

Notice how Obama looks like a white guy in his "art"? Methinks McNaughton has little experience in painting African-Americans. Imagine that.

Tristan Alexander said...

Pure propaganda and not even well done in my oppinion! I detest people like him!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Oh my! What a pathetic excuse for 'art'.

kishnevi said...

The first one for me can be described as blasphemous, but it reflect a common idea on the Right.

His other pictures conveniently ignore the fact that several of those past Presidents pictured pleading with Obama in the third picture could be equally viewed as guilty of trampling/burning on the Constitution. But it wouldn't do to admit that for political propaganda purposes.

Yesterday a European member of a (generally) music oriented forum remarked that we Americans seem to idolize the Constitution, unreasonably in his view. I commented back that it was unreasonable, but what they idolized was not the Constitution or the current political system that is officially our modern version of that, but an ideal version that never really existed-or it did exist, crashed and burned when it met the real world about 1860 or so.

Side issue prompted by JCF (and McNaughton like many of his political ilk would probably answer that after all, Obama is half-white, so why shouldn't he be pictured as almost white?)--
it's always bothered me that most modern advertising, while employing black models all over the place, still seems to prefer lighter skinned blacks--or at least, in the photographic result, they appear lighter skinned. In the store I work for, there are plenty of black (both African American and Caribbean, besides a few AfroLatinos and at least one employee from Nigeria) employees, and almost all of them are far darker in skin tone than almost all of the black models used in our (stores all over the country, and nationally known and Fortune whatever) company's advertising. And it's not just us, and I've noticed even in magazines that marketing to blacks, like Jet and Ebony. It's as if Madison Ave still can't get used to the idea that some people are merely a darker shade of white.

Lapinbizarre said...

He does a line in natural scenery, as well. Half-way passable when he's ripping-off Thomas Moran, but pretty sick-making when he's ripping-off Kinkade.

JCF said...

Art is obviously subjective, kish.

I just think McNaughton basically draws a white guy (more than half white! ;-/), and then darkens the pigment. Obama has some African features: it's more than just skin color.

I stand by my evaluation that, prior to, um, denigrating the 44th President, McNaughton basically had never much painted African-Americans (of any shade) before.

Lapinbizarre said...

Better image of the Moran.

Counterlight said...

McNaughton makes me appreciate what a fine colorist Moran was.
The other landscape is pretty treacly. I need an insulin shot after looking at it.

I think the problem with McNaughton's Obama is not that he's too white or too black, but that he doesn't really look all that much like Obama.

Counterlight said...

McNaughton's Obama looks more like Edward R. Murrow with Afro hair.

Lapinbizarre said...

The Moran is a late one (1912). I am interested by how his style seems to have evolved to keep pace with fashion.

Kittredge Cherry said...

Audrey and I had fun visiting McNaughton's website and marveling at how he tags every face in the crowd and every document on the ground! My favorite character: "liberal news reporter." He reports that the right wing has criticized his paintings for the diversity of including images of liberals in the crowds!