Crucified Obama painting shocks many

Posted: 11/27/12 at 6:20 pm EST

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (WHDH) -- An artist made a shocking statement at Bunker Hill Community College -- it’s a painting of President Barack Obama that has many talking.

Some used words like disrespectful, blasphemous and shameful to describe the painting, but the man behind the image used just one word: Art.

The painting shows President Obama in a Christ-like pose, as if nailed to a cross, with a crown of thorns on top of his head. The painted, titled “The Truth,” is on display at Bunker Hill Community College’s art gallery.

“It was meant as a political piece, not really a religious piece at all,” said artist Michael D’Antuono.

Some have called it blasphemy.

“It means that the president was being crucified for whatever he said,” said D’Antuono.

D’Antuono came to Boston for the opening on Halloween. He said he received threats in the past, which forced him to cancel a show in New York in 2009.

D’Antuono said it was John McCain’s campaign that attacked President Obama for acting like a savior. The artist said he painted the piece in response to the comments in 2009 after President Obama beat McCain.

The college said people who see the painting in person have not complained, but they do acknowledge fielding mostly out-of-state complaints on the phone and via email.

“I don’t think we’re sorry about anything in this exhibit. I think this exhibit was intended to provoke discussion. It was intended to get people thinking,” said Stephanie Schorow, Bunker Hill Community College Spokesperson.

D’Antuono said it is the Christian right which is fueling the debate. He makes no apologies for exercising his right to free speech.

“Jesus wasn’t the only one crucified and I’m pretty sure that if he came down now and looked around I don’t think he’d be too upset with me,” said D’Antuono.

The painting will be displayed at Bunker Hill Community College through Dec. 15.

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