Conservative artist Jon McNaughton revealed his new painting on Tuesday, an epic in which President Donald Trump navigates a flooded Washington D.C. with his lowly crew of administration officials.
My new painting – “Crossing the Swamp”
“Never give up. Never lower your light.
Never stop till the swamp is dry.” – Jon McNaughton
For a list of figures in the boat: https://t.co/ZIPdkBgcFU pic.twitter.com/CTPndvK5LM
— Jon McNaughton (@McNaughtonArt) July 31, 2018
McNoughton has painted several provocative politically themed paintings and become somewhat of a celebrity to those on the right. One, in which former Democratic President Barack Obama stands on the Constitution as founding father James Madison looks on disbelief, is proudly owned by Fox News host Sean Hannity.
This latest work, Crossing the Swamp, as McNaughton called it, is modeled on Emanuel Leutze’s painting called Washington Crossing the Delaware.
In a dramatic video trailer accompanying the announcement, the artist unpacked his symbology—Trump navigates “murky waters of the deep state” which is “laced with dangerous vermin perfectly willing to destroy American prosperity.” The twelve-person crew includes such familiar faces as White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, oar in hand, and National Security Adviser John Bolton. who appears to be battling a scaled swamp creature.
Some conservative Twitter users sincerely complimented the work.
— William Ketchem (@bill1154) July 31, 2018
But many of the internet’s most profound amateur art critics were keen to dismantle the piece for the true meme that it really was.
I can't tell if this is some sort of parody account. It's so over the top it just can't be real, right? https://t.co/NBGf0etlfH
— David Long (@gawdmail) July 31, 2018
lot to unpack here but obvious observations first: Bolton looks like he's hunting Bugs Bunny and Jared Kushner has been left off the boat. https://t.co/G6kiZCi3XR
— Jorge Ribas (@jribas) July 31, 2018
It's like Thomas Kinkade, but with racists.
— yuge tweet storm 🌊 🤔 (@gbreedlove) July 31, 2018
Wait. Isn't that Putin at the rudder? https://t.co/szwi8TiiFi
— Rob Garver (@rrgarver) July 31, 2018
White Privilege Deliverance. Unbalanced. Trump is rendered at 1/2 his actual size and he wouldn't be able to maintain that stance with an object in his hand (you've seen him with a water bottle). The boat would tip over the minute he set foot on it.
— Patricia A. Smith🆘🍑🆘 (@nonconfromist) July 31, 2018
Why is Ben Carson paddling in the wrong direction?
— Kevin is staying home (@KevinBuist) July 31, 2018
The "Duck Dynasty" reboot looks awful.
— Michael B. Dougherty (@runmbd) July 31, 2018
So, is it a national treasure? Who knows. Future generations might just study this painting, the parable of the plutocrat president who flooded the swamp he promised to drain so badly he needed a 12-person boat.
Correction 8:51am CT, Aug. 1: An earlier version of this story misattributed the inspiration of Crossing the Swamp. The original Washington Crossing the Delaware was by Emanuel Leutze, which in turn inspired a painting of the same title by George Caleb Bingham, but Crossing the Swamp more closely mirrors the former.