Obama is, some believe, the most celebrated president in “people’s art” since JFK — and while these public images of Obama are ego-stoking  — we must also ask:  Are they any good? 

At first glace, much of this home-hewn art is pretty awful with predictable poses and landscapes.

Some of these artists strive for the striking and the significant:

Most of these artists, however, take the simplest route that won’t upset their own mind-numbing apple cart. 

Obama is in constant need of reframing and ongoing contextual categorization because he invents so many new niches and asserts himself into so many new lives — but do we need to turn a critical eye on these works of the heart and not of the aesthetic conscience?

Or must every effort count the same and all attempts at art are art?


  1. I wonder if the art will continue for all 4 (8?) years. It seemed like there was a lot more art in the months leading up to the election – just to get his image out and help get him elected.
    I would say that not all art is great art – some is mediocre – but mediocre art with a good cause is better than excellent art with a bad cause. 🙂

  2. I think that’s a reasonable expectation, Gordon. Obama is a world famous face now and he represents many causes to many people — but I do think some moderation is necessary. Not all Obama art is great art — and we should always be striving to create the best possible art we can and if we fall short, then we don’t celebrate that piece.

  3. I can say that I am not that impressed by the art! Truthfully, most of it is just plain awful!
    Some of it looks like it was done by a fourth grade class and others seem to qualify for a high school art class project.
    If this new president, that has made history, ever needed an image to project to the nation and beyond … I’d think they would at least get professional artist to accomplish the task. That’s just a suggestion:-)

  4. You’re right about that, Kimberley! So much of this “celebrated” and published Obama artwork is just silly and even downright ugly! What’s the point of it? To dismember the man?

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