“Hope” by Victorian-era artist G.F. Watts helped inspire Barack Obama to the presidency:
"To take the one string you have left and to have the audacity to hope ... that's the real word God will have us hear ... from Watts' painting," -- Reverend Jeremiah Wright from his famous sermon which deeply impacted Obama.
Now that the hype of the 2008 election is over the press has started to piece together topics that were missed during the gold rush-- or should I say media blitz?-- for information and headlines. One of those stories involves an artwork titled “Hope”. However, this image is most likely not the “Hope” you are thinking of-- as in the portrait of Obama titled “Hope” by controversial street artist Shepard Fairey. That “Hope” was caught on waves of media lightning. No, this influential image of “Hope” is from a different era-- Victorian to be exact. It seems that “Hope”, painted by G.F. Watts, is deeply embedded within the psyche of Barack Obama.
So what exactly is the connection between Watts’ “Hope” and Obama? Apparently the Victorian painting inspired Obama’s controversial former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, to give a sermon to his congregation. That sermon was titled “The Audacity to Hope”. The sermon had a great impact on Obama who later mentioned it in his first book “Dreams of My Father”. As we all know, Obama changed his pastor’s phrase to “the audacity of hope” when he used it as the title for his speech during the Democratic National Convention in 2004. The phrase was later used as the title of Obama’s second book.
"Hope", that is the “Hope“ by Watts not Fairey-- is currently on display at Guildhall Art Gallery in London. The painting will be on display until the spring of 2009.
Link of Interest:
Take care, Stay true,