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More Mormon Art

by Rachel Piper
- Posted // 2012-01-28 -

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.

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Post a comment
Posted // January 30,2012 at 20:16

This McNaughton fellow is a disgusting human being, clearly an ignorant moron.


Posted // January 30,2012 at 14:47

Since the title is 'Wake Up!' I especially appreciate the SUBTLE!! presence of The Metaphorical Rooster.


Posted // January 30,2012 at 10:48

Calling this "Mormon art" is like calling Newt Gingrich the "Catholic candidate." Yes, this extremely misinformed "artist" is Mormon, but there's nothing "Mormon" about his political art. Why didn't you call his art "Conservative" art or "Tea Party" art?


Posted // January 31,2012 at 09:50 - Calling it 'art' is just stupid. It's a disgusting shot of paranoid propaganda squeezed out through the twisted butthole of a failed lab experiment from Utah County. The fact that even BYU's bookstore threw out his childish crap should be the weather vane of his failed career in fake art. Where's that cabin going to be located so I can stay out of that state when they come for him?


Posted // January 29,2012 at 16:27

Not only is this guy a hack politician, he is a hack artist. The colors are garish, the composition is juvenile, the layout is pedestrian and boring. And he believes that his viewers are so stupid that he has to beat them over the head with his ridiculous one-dimensional view of the world. The idea that he has hdden "six keys" in his painting reminds me of a Where's Waldo sketch, without the cleverness.

Offensive and kitsch in every sense of the words, why does this below-average illustrator get even an inch of column space anywhere? Ignore him and perhaps he'll end up holed up in some log cabin behind a stack of guns and oil paints and we can all stop having to cover our eyes and stomachs.