John McNaughton, the artist behind “The Forgotten Man,” a famous painting depicting former President Obama standing on the Constitution, has created a companion piece featuring President Trump.
“You Are Not Forgotten,” the latest painting by political artist John McNaughton, is a clear parallel to his earlier work featuring former President Obama. In “The Forgotten Man” a man representing the American people can be seen with his head hung low sitting on a park bench. President Obama is standing to his left, intentionally ignoring the forgotten man, while stepping on the Constitution. In contrast, “You Are Not Forgotten” features the same forgotten man except now he is accompanied by his wife and daughter and they are watching a tree grow with the blessing of President Trump, who is standing on the head of a snake.
“Now, because of unconstitutional acts imposed upon the American people by our government, we stand on the precipice of disaster,” McNaughton said in a video, describing his work featuring former President Obama. “The painting symbolically suggests the actions of Barack Obama, as well as other presidents. Yes, their actions speak louder than words, as do the brushstrokes in my painting.”
The tone and tenor of “The Forgotten Man” depicts a great pessimism for the future of America. While formulating the Obama painting, McNaughton asked himself, “if the presidents of the past could speak to us today what would they say?” By the expressions on their face, McNaughton makes it clear that earlier presidents would not appreciate modern trends. In all, the mood of “The Forgotten Man” is gloomy, and expresses deep fears for the future of America.
“You Are Not Forgotten,” however, reveals a distinct change in the artist’s mood. The picture represents great optimism for the future of America, and the dismantling of the Washington elite.
“Last year we elected President Trump,” explained McNaughton. “He expressed by his words and demeanor what Americans wanted – a man who was not going to bow down to Washington or other countries. A man that would not forget the “forgotten men and women” of this country who elected him.”
Indeed, the forgotten man featured in both paintings is booming with optimism next to President Trump, while his future looked bleak with former President Obama nearby. The artist represents this optimism in the form of the tree. A loving family is supporting the man who is looking fondly at the new life springing up before him, representing a newfound hope for the future of our country.
By the end of the video, McNaughton shared some of his own hopes for the future. “I want a president that will crush the enemies of liberty, justice, and American prosperity,” he explained.
The snake crushed by President Trump in the painting represents the enemies to liberty – the enemies of the American people. President Trump is an outsider taking down the Washington elite, and as McNaughton explains, “They may have the power to bruise his heel, but he will have the power to crush their head!”