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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Activist Artist Michael D'Antuono Upends the Establishment

Art is not made to decorate rooms. It is an offensive weapon in the defense against the enemy - Picasso
Artist Michael D'Antuono

Activist Post

Deemed “one of the world’s most controversial artists” by more than one foreign publication, Michael D’Antuono is known for making art that challenges people to think more deeply about sociopolitical issues. His work has received high praise from fellow artists Shepard Fairey and Banksy.

In 2009 D’Antuono created a firestorm with his painting “The Truth” as seen above. The artist’s intent was to the to let the diverse interpretations of the piece expose how badly people’s political prejudice distort subjectivity and how dangerously divided we are as a nation. The piece worked too well, igniting such great protest that D’Antuono had to cancel his planned installation in New York’s Union Square Park on President Obama’s 100th day in office. The painting became an international news story with much-received hate mail. D’Antuono finally had the opportunity to exercise his first amendment right to exhibit the painting at an art exhibition in Boston in 2012. Once again the painting created a firestorm. Former Presidential candidate Herman Caine denounced the piece, and the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights called for its removal from exhibition. Surprisingly, Glenn Beck defended the artist’s right to exhibit his art by devoting a show to it and another one with Michael as his guest.

D’Antuono’s provocative takes on racism, class warfare, the environment, corporate influence and other hot-button issues have made him the object of censorship and derision by those who want to protect the status-quo. Yet he continues to make art that speaks truth to power, perpetuating the historic role of the artist to spark social change.

We are happy to have been given the opportunity by Michael to present his paintings in our articles. Please see Michael D'Antuono at work in the video below, and visit his site at Art and Response. 

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