Liberty in visual art?

Jon McNaughton is not afraid to inject some politics into his beautifully rendered paintings. That those politics are distinctly Tea Party is what makes his paintings so contentious amongst the snooty leftist sorts.

From a CBS Las Vegas piece on the Utah artist:

“For a long time I didn’t know if I wanted to paint this picture, because I worried it might be too controversial,” McNaughton explains in a voice over. “(T)his man (on the park bench) represents every man, woman, and child who is an American; he hopes to find the American dream of happiness and prosperity.

“But now because of unconstitutional acts imposed on the American people by our government we stand on the precipice of disaster”

The painting he is referring to is the first of a pair, and it is called “The Forgotten Man” (alluding, perhaps, to the Amity Schlaes book of the same name, a free market history of the Great Depression).  You can see it below, or in more detail at McNaughton’s website.

The joy, of course, is in the little details in the painting; the copy of the Constitution that Obama’s standing on, the placement and expression of each of the presidents. It’s a painting you could get meaning out of for hours.

But don’t spend too many hours looking, because McNaughton has come out with a second painting, labelled, “Wake up America” which is even more awesomely, blatantly Tea Party.  Here IT is, below, or viewable in detail on McNaughton’s website.

I love Ben Bernanke, Tim Giethner and the cadre of shady dictators “backing” Obama here.  Is the rooster a reference to “Morning in America?”

What do you think dear readers?  Any more examples of liberty in paintings or other fine art?  How many of you visit the excellent online storefront of Quent Cordair for your fix of Objectivist inspired fine art?


McNaughton has recently released a third painting, called “One Nation Under Socialism.”  See it below, or at the artist’s website.

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Former content marketing director and current libertarian novelist, wargamer, and bacon-recipe-tinkerer. Connect on Twitter or at my author website,

6 Responses

  1. I don’t know that he’s incorporated his politics into his art, but John Currin, one of the more prominent contemporary American painters, is a libertarian. The New York Times did a write-up mentioning his and his sculptor wife, Rachel Feinstein’s, politics — along with their penchant for dressing sharply and living well.

    • Aducknamedjoe says:


      Love it. That’s a great write up for being in a leftist rag like the NYT. Wonder if John’s ever thought about advancing liberty through art…

  2. luvdomus says:

    These paintings are what you’d get if Maoist propganda posters mated with Jehovah’s Witness pamplhlet illustrations: shallow, simple-minded, preaching to the choir.

  3. David Emeron says:

    I love this man’s art and I have very much enjoyed perusing your site as well, young man!

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