If you ever used the term “whiz kid” to refer to Glenn Beck, you now have him pegged.
The media giant is reacting to controversy over a painting of President Obama resembling Jesus Christ on a crucifix by putting a bobblehead doll of President Obama into a container of what appeared to be urine.
“I like to call this ‘Flobama,’” Beck said with a false French accent, as he played the role of a freedom-loving artist expressing himself on his television program Tuesday evening.
He titled his artwork, “Obama in Pee Pee” and put a price tag of $25,000 on it. Ebay has since pulled the item, despite the proceeds slated for charity.
“I have been working on a masterpiece. I have been working on something for quite a while,” Beck clowned. “When I say quite a while, I mean all day, small little doses all day. I drank a lot of water when I did this.”
A note on Beck’s website the Blaze explained: “Beck decided that submerging an Obama ‘bobblehead’ doll in urine (later revealed to be completely fake) was necessary to convey his artistic message. He of course realizes this will be controversial and that many will find his use of the Obama figurine to be disrespectful. The idea, for Beck however, is not to be untoward, but through irony, to highlight the hypocrisy of those who would shout in defiance at defacing the image of a sitting U.S. president, but not that of an image so sacred to Christianity – the world’s largest religion.”
Beck also intended his artwork to highlight the hypocrisy of those who complain about demeaning Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
“If his image were defaced in the same way as Christ’s has been so many times, the backlash could indeed be deadly and the ‘artist’ in question pursued by U.S. law enforcement (as was the case for the creators of the YouTube video ‘Innocence of Muslims’),” noted the Blaze.
Beck had singled out the artwork titled “Truth,” by Michael D’Antuono, which features Obama depicted as Jesus, wearing a crown of thorns, being crucified.
Public outrage prevented the work from being displayed in New York four years ago, but it is now in display at the Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery in Boston, as part of a larger exhibit called “Artists on the Stump – the Road to the White House 2012.”
It’s scheduled to remain on display through Dec. 15.
D’Antuono has said his “First Amendment rights should override someone’s hurt feelings” and that “we should celebrate the fact that we live in a country where we are given the freedom to express ourselves.”
Beck agreed with D’Antuono’s sentiment, saying, “Art is in the eye of the beholder, and this guy has right to do this. I think it’s offensive. I don’t think it’s close to reality, but whatever floats your boat, Jack. I support his right to do exactly that.”
Beck invited D’Antuono on his program to discuss the First Amendment, but it’s not yet known if the artist has accepted.
This is not the first time placing an object in urine has been used for artistic purposes.
A 1987 photograph titled “Piss Christ” by American artist and photographer Andres Serrano featured a small plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist’s urine.
It sparked worldwide outrage and fueled debate in the U.S. over whether taxpayer dollars should be used to fund such objects.