Back in September, Michael C. Moynihan asked, "What happens to political art if Obama wins?", and worried—after a taste of what Obama supporters were producing months prior to the election—"that the dull and sophomoric political art of the Bush years will be replaced by the dull and hagiographic work of the Obama years." In light of an email I received today from Matthew Cook, the publicist at Say It & See It Productions, LLC, I would argue that we won't see much of a break between pre-election and post-election "political art":
From the press release:
Christopher Shannon Art today announced the release of the limited edition of his latest work "Change in America". This limited edition drawing takes the theme and slogan of the most significant event in American political history and presents it in a most literal sense.
Change in America is a striking and realistic portrait of President-Elect Barack Obama delivering one of his most moving and impactful speeches. President Elect Obama is centered in the middle of The United States of America that unanimously elected him as their 44th President. Displayed throughout the drawing are American currency in the form of coins or change that amplify the overall message that led record numbers of American voters to the polls and united American people of every race, religion and political affiliation. This limited edition portrait is extremely realistic and simply breathe taking.
"Obama's eyes literally look as if they will blink at you at any moment," says Jason Scott, DC area resident and private art collector. This particular work being introduced here has been in secret development for a long time and is the first in a series of portraits dedicated to the historical presidency of Barack Obama. "He may not be the best in the World, but he is the best I've every [sic] seen…" says R&B singing artist, celebrity and art collector Ginuwine.
Christopher Shannon captures not only the spirit of this historic event but also the literal meaning of change. "I just want people to feel the emotional significance of this event…" says Christopher Shannon. "There are lots of depictions of Obama out there; my goal is to not just present the man; but the message in a way that provokes thought and reflection on what this really means."
This email came after a different publicist offered me an "early shot" at a gallery opening with new stuff by "Shep Fairy" [sic], the street artist who turned Obama's headshot into a paint-by-numbers poster, inspired countless Tall tees themes, and did underdressed former-anarchists proud by making GQ's "Men of the Year" list.
I wonder if a disappointing First 100 Days will be enough to crust the brushes of Obama artists? After all, it's one thing to paint torture and war, and quite another to paint someone not doing everything he promised. And if the schmaltzy Obama art keeps up, will the rest of us find ourselves eventually pining for a return of those smug yet subtle "W" stickers?