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More Mormon Art



Utah’s favorite Mormon politically symbolic artist, Jon McNaughton, is back with an even heavier-handed painting called “Wake Up America.” Now we know how Obama created the deficit—buying chains to enslave the American people!---

Previous paintings of McNaughton’s required a visit to his Website to partake in some in-depth scrolling to figure out who the figures are and what they symbolize (example: in “One Nation Under God,” the pregnant lady isn’t just a pregnant lady; she’s pointing at a disabled child, thinking, “I want to keep my baby,” therefore representing hope. Satan’s also hidden in the painting, and so is Dolly Madison. It’s like a politicized Where’s Waldo?, perfect for an evening alone with the cats, or an afternoon in the office with a captive audience of one's co-workers). “The Forgotten Man” got a little less subtle, depicting political figures of past and present in various states of distress/glee over Obama ripping up the Constitution (and the Bill of Rights, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) and standing on it.

“Wake Up America” depicts everymen and -women again, but there’s no need to hover your mouse to figure anything out. Maybe he’s trying to appeal to the people who didn’t quite “get” his previous works, or maybe he ran out of time on the Website coding. Basically, everyone is in chains, except Obama and some evil dictators, who seem to be Obama’s backing band. Oh, and even though Obama is making it rain onstage, most of the people in the crowd are empty-handed, except for the journalists (yeah, because we’re REALLY rolling in the dough, especially these days) and people who are holding angry signs. Gosh.

If you’re still confused, McNaughton (who, when he's not coming up with gangbuster ideas to fix the country, paints Thomas Kinkade-style blurry landscapes/cottages) has handily outlined his philosophy here. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see this latest gem at the BYU Bookstore, but it’s sure to look great above your table of decorative wooden bowls.