Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Real Visual Message of “Hope” Behind Barack Obama

The Real Visual Message of “Hope” Behind Barack Obama

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:

Victorian painting by G.F. Watts inspired Obama to harp on 'Hope'

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor


Anonymous said...

I’m certain that Shepard Fairey will pick up on this image if he has not already. Luckily for Fairey, the image by Watts is in public domain! If he uses it he will not find himself in another Rene Mederos situation. Print, Paste and sell away my friend. Print,Paste and sell away.

Anonymous said...

Reverend Jeremiah Wright is not only an idiot, but he is a racist. Anyone who adheres to, follows, or sits in the pews of the racist Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church for the past twenty years or more is also a racist.

I truly find it so hard to understand why so many people are bowing down to Obama like he is some kind of saint or messiah especially since he has never done ANYTHING to attain such status. I wonder how long it will take for the public to realize that he is just another man who will inevitably fail them. I think that the public often forgets that most idols have clay feet.


Anonymous said...

That is a wonderful painting. Very symbolic and it does give the message of hope if you look at it long enough.

Anonymous said...

Really good post!