Monday, September 18, 2017

Forgotten but not gone

Click to embiggen for the full effect.
Don't think everybody's heard about this yet: Utah-based fine artist Jon McNaughton's new oil, returning to the composition of his 2016 painting The Forgotten Man in a piece entitled You Are Not Forgotten, in which his clear allegorical style has given way to something more strange and fanciful, even surrealistic. Below the same park bench in front of the White House where the forgotten man sat in despair in the earlier work, the dirt has been paved over with little stones, between which a tiny plant has unexpectedly bloomed (like the pilgrim's staff in the opera), and the forgotten man is starting to dig it out with his trusty trowel, presumably planning to take this federal parks property home, while a woman and girl watch, solemnly—the woman holding a Kool-Aid pitcher of water ready to pour onto the back of his neck, or perhaps into his hood, in case he gets overheated. At his left, a very slender but slightly stooped President Trump in his characteristic red tie stands where President Obama trampled the Constitution underfoot in the first painting, hand outstretched in an Ecce Homo gesture pointing the formerly forgotten man out to his diverse audience of mostly veteran and serving members of the military (I can't recognize any of them by name, other than maybe Pence just behind his right shoulder), just in case they haven't remembered him yet. A serpent (the don't-tread-on-me snake of the Revolutionary War?) is biting him in the ankle, and his right hand has miraculously grown to twice the size of his left.

The original Forgotten Man.

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