You may not know Jon McNaughton by name, but if you've spent any real length of time on this here internet then chances are you know his work. McNaughton is the mind behind the outlandish, oft mocked, portraits of Trump that you see floating around.
We've seen Trump on a tricked-out American flag motorcycle with Melania on the back, Trump added to Mt. Rushmore, Trump sipping wine with past Presidents (not the ones 45 dislikes, obviously), Trump choosing not to wear a mask, Trump bravely crossing the Delaware a-la George Washington and Trump turning his back on politicians who are in favor of helping immigrants.
There's more, but we'd be here all day.
McNaughton is, if nothing else, a prolific artist. It's important to note that McNaughton paints Trump with a sort of heroic reverence that, according to some, borders on fetishization.
In fact, the artist has an entire section on his website devoted to paintings of Jesus and his portraits of Trump show 45 in much the same almost worshipful light.
His latest work is yet another example.
May we present you with "Legacy Of Hope."
New Painting Release – “Legacy of Hope” As Americans, we share a LEGACY that should never be forgotten! More inform… https://t.co/GVU1yMk0xf— Jon McNaughton (@Jon McNaughton) 1595519237.0
The image gives us 45 sitting in the Oval Office being prayed over by figures of the past like JFK, George Washington, Frederik Douglass (who Trump famously quipped about "getting recognized more and more" and whose family offered Trump a "history lesson" when it became clear the President had no actual idea who Douglass was, why he was important, or that he died in the 1800s), Harriet Tubman, Ronald Reagan and more.
On the desk in front of Trump are a set of antique keys, a document (presumably the Constitution) and a Bible. Trump, who almost radiates light from the center of the portrait, has his hands clasped and head slightly lowered as those around him pray.
According to the artist, the piece was inspired by this image.
The photo captures predominantly black supporters as they pray over Trump. In stark contrast to the painting, we don't see any sort of participation from Trump in the real photo.
Here, his head is not lowered, his eyes are not closed, etc. While the faithful around him pray, Trump sits with his hands folded, lips tightly pursed together, staring blankly ahead.
There does not appear to be any reverence or appreciation for the well-meaning prayers as there is in all of McNaughton's art. This is not a photo of a man moved by or involved in prayer.
Art is pretty subjective, though, so the artist gave us his idealized version of the moment. He did so by casting Trump as faithful and reverent and replacing the almost entirely black prayer group of both men and women with one of almost exclusively White men—including Robert E. Lee, who notoriously fought for the right to keep slaves.
Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman get to stand in as the token representation. That may be MLK in the background center-right of the painting.
Multiple people pointed out that even though Douglass is the one standing next to Trump, it appears to be Lincoln's hand on his shoulder. "Even in paintings the dude can't let Black people touch Trump." one user said.
Twitter took one look at the portrait and decided they wanted to be artists too.
So people gave us their idealized versions of the moment by tweaking McNaughton's art a bit.
@McNaughtonArt @realDonaldTrump @EricTrump @TuckerCarlson @dbongino @LauraIngram @seanhannity Here’s another versio… https://t.co/eUeBRK3fhB— Jo (@Jo) 1595776845.0
@agibSD @McNaughtonArt @realDonaldTrump @EricTrump @TuckerCarlson @dbongino @LauraIngram @seanhannity As you comman… https://t.co/e03C2fIRJl— Jo (@Jo) 1595783634.0
@itsJeffTiedrich @McNaughtonArt @realDonaldTrump @EricTrump @TuckerCarlson @dbongino @LauraIngram @seanhannity This… https://t.co/FDWXnEaAjv— PinkPurpleBlue🌊🌊🌊✊😻🗽🎇🌟✨ (@PinkPurpleBlue🌊🌊🌊✊😻🗽🎇🌟✨) 1595771349.0
I fixed the #trump #painting https://t.co/QRKE9sYake— Radahoula (@Radahoula) 1595878806.0
I commissioned my favorite artist to put the finishing touches on this new portrait of Trump. https://t.co/6XqiFZtQE3— John Gruber (@John Gruber) 1595869731.0
@Quetzalcoatl777 @CopleyScott17 @davidfrum Ok. MUCH improved! Now I must go back to work!! https://t.co/LoHz0jGZXD— LynSanity, BFA, #BLM (@LynSanity, BFA, #BLM) 1595788029.0
@ManMadeMoon @Rschooley Fixed it. https://t.co/SIJuAkUv2u— StickyBunny (@StickyBunny) 1595745945.0
@itsJeffTiedrich @McNaughtonArt @realDonaldTrump @EricTrump @TuckerCarlson @dbongino @LauraIngram @seanhannity New… https://t.co/X5eSiUyp5r— sarahpatrickfan (@sarahpatrickfan) 1595881733.0
Our hats are off to all the talented Twitter artists out there.