A Utah artist opened up on why he joined the national anthem protest debate by painting President Donald Trump on a football field clutching a tattered and trampled American flag, and using a rag to wash it clean.
Jon McNaughton is an established artist from Utah whose new paintings have attracted the international attention of millions over the last few years. Highly detailed religious and patriotic subjects are the focus of his paintings.
The artist’s experiences and faith are the inspiration for his work.
I prefer to paint pictures that I believe have relevance to what is going on in the world, that make a statement, that stand for something. I hope people will study the paintings and try to understand the deeper meaning. Some of the themes are controversial, but I feel strongly about what is happening in our world today.
There are three kinds of people who view my paintings: Those who like it, those who hate it, and those who simply don’t understand. I am especially interested in this last category. I hope my work will create conversation and reach people on a deeper level. I like to use metaphor and multiple levels of meaning to reach my viewer. If it makes them think and feel, then it is successful.”
Jon McNaughton wrote on his website that he created the piece — titled “Respect the Flag” — because he respects the president for standing up to athletes who refused to stand for the anthem.
On “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, McNaughton said he — like millions of other Americans — was offended by NFL players and other athletes disrespecting what the flag represents: those who have sacrificed their lives for our nation, Fox News reports.
“I wanted to paint an image that would reflect what happened there and also the way President Trump stood up for American values when he interjected himself into this,” McNaughton said.
He said the reaction on the left has been similar to many of his other patriotic and religious-themed paintings.
“They can’t believe an artist would take the time to paint something like this,” McNaughton said. “But then everybody else sees the painting and they identify with it, and it takes off.”
The “left” loves art, and especially taxpayer funded art that is “provocative”. Let’s get their reaction to this. https://t.co/WAVFB1Uqbx.
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) February 27, 2018
McNaughton painted these controversial paintings as well.
November 9th McNaughton announced via facebook that he sold the original to Sean Hannity:
“Sean Hannity just purchased my painting “The Forgotten Man” to give to Donald Trump to hang in the White House” (link)
Against the background of a darkening sky, all of the past Presidents of the United States gather before the White…
McNaughton painted “You Are Not Forgotten…” in 2017 which represents an incredible vision of the middle-class American family carefully nurturing a sprouting seedling with President Trump looking on.
Video below from Mr. McNaughton describing his perspective on the painting: