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America's Greatest Artist Jon McNaughton Reboots Duck Dynasty
Experts struggle to see any difference.
Jon McNaughton, Salt Lake City's gift to the world of Great American Kitsch, has gone and committed painting with intent to do grievous bodily harm to your innards again. This time it's a very clever homage to Emanuel Leutze's 1851 "Washington Crossing the Delaware," only it's Donald Trump and select heroes from his White House staff "Crossing the Swamp," get it??? Oh, of course you get it. That's what McNaughton's all about.
So here's that hunka hunka silt-clogged Swamp Thing, with Donald and hangers-on converted into idiots with guns in a boat, surrounded by gators that seem a tad on the tiny side. As Molly Ivins would say, this here is some ort :
The man has the artistic sensibility of a Chinese motel-painting assembly line and the nuanced messaging of a Ben Garrison cartoon. You got your Donald, looking like he actually weighs 237 pounds, holding a lantern as the crew of the SS Dipshizzle flail around either huntin' for varmints, or trying to propel the boat, or, in the case of "Nikki Haley" there in the bow (we had to look up the list of characters on McNaughton's website), trying not to get et, as will happen when you spend too much time with the globalists at the UN. We also had no idea the oar-fiddler just below her is David Mattis, although we could make out Ben Carson on the other side, rowing to a "Popeye's Organization," to beat up all the robbers:
Here we have Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (or possibly Freddy Krueger) demonstrating how he used to sit in his pickup at the city limits of a "Sundown town" in Alabama, and Mike Pompeo wondering whether he should complain someone has painted the lenses of his binoculars with "NO COLLUSION." It's OK, we thought it might be Mike Huckabee, too.
In the center stands Trump, valiantly, as Melania clings to him for support, as a wife should, although what she has a holt on, no one can tell me. Maybe she's simply trying to avoid holding his hand. Mike Pence holds the flag aloft, in case Donald should get a hankering to hug it.
Toward the stern, we have Sarah Huckabee Sanders wondering why no one else in the crew has heard of oarlocks, Ivanka and Kellyanne Conway being ornamental, as women ought, and John Bolton apparently about to take a dump on them. John Kelly steers, hoping they can get up enough speed to run down an illegal immigrant baby. Due to regrettable staff changes, there is no Rex at the Tiller, son.
The entire arrangement is neoclassical, comprising three triangular groupings of figures, with the Great Man and the flag at the apex of the central triangle. This creates the impression of a three-masted man o'war, and indicates both the artist's attention to the elements of composition and one of the few things we remember from our freshman art appreciation survey class.
As ever, McNaughton explains his painting for people who might not catch all the subtleties:
Over 240 years ago George Washington suffered through Valley Forge and crossed the Delaware River to bring an astonishing victory to the Continental Army. This led to what many thought was impossible, to defeat a despot King and his formidable army.
Today, Trump endeavors to cross the "swamp" of Washington DC as he carries the light of truth, hope, and prosperity. The murky water of the deep state is laced with dangerous vermin, perfectly willing to destroy American prosperity for their personal ideologies and financial gain. The establishment Democrats, Never-Trumper-Republicans, Deep State, and Fake News Media will do all they can to stop the majority of the American people from succeeding.
As an artist, I paint what I feel needs to be said about the current state of our country. My hope is that Trump will be remembered as the President that restored America's greatness. I want to be on that boat for freedom!
Please note that Donald Trump and crew are, in McNaughton's own symbology, not going to bother actually draining this swamp; instead, they will skim over it to fight some later battle, presumably elsewhere on the grounds of Lafayette Park.
With "Crossing the Swamp," McNaughton offers a brief pause from his recent trend of paintings focused on just one or two figures, such as "Donald Trump Rescues The Flag From Kneeling Black Thugs," "Donald Trump Beats Off Robert Mueller With Truth,"and"Donald Trump Won't Let Alien Weeds Eat America Like Triffids."
However, McNaughton has alsolearned the rubes will snap up anything he slaps into a lithograph, so while this piece features more humanoids than other recent output, it falls well short of the epic madness of McNaughton's Golden (or at least gold-spray-painted) Age, in which he felt compelled to crowd his canvases with historical figures and deep metaphors, as typified by his Magnum Derpus, "Jesus Christ Personally Delivers The Constitution And Doesn't Even Expect A Tip Because He's God."
In conclusion, Talking Heads already did the theme song for this painting decades ago, and we hope it will wash away the bad taste in your eyes:
Watch out, touch monkeys!