Welcome to the “resistance” to President Donald Trump, which is finding expression on college campuses throughout the country. As an example, a teacher at Fresno State recently declared that Trump “must hang.”
But pictures speak louder than words, as an assistant professor of painting at the University of Alaska Anchorage attempted to show with an original work that is on display as part a faculty art exhibition in the school’s Fine Arts building.
The painting, which appears below, shows a naked man (anatomically correct in the unblurred original) who for some reason holds aloft the severed head of the commander in chief in one hand. In the other he holds a sign that reads, “Man did not weave the web of life. He is merely a strand in it.”
The artist, Thomas Chung, explained to CBS affiliate KTUU:
It’s an image of the actor who plays Captain America, and two eagles are sort of screaming into his ears, and he’s holding the severed head of Trump, and there’s a young Hillary Clinton clinging to his leg. I was reminded of those 80’s rock posters, where there’s a woman in tattered clothes clinging to a strong male hero’s leg.
His motivation for the painting was his disaffection over the outcome of the 2016 presidential election:
After Trump was elected, I spent days just weeping. And it was really surprising, because I’m not a political person. I am a social artist. I deal mostly in ideals of culture and global culture, but this election bled into that.
The article also quotes Paul Berger, a former adjunct professor at the university, who says he supports free speech but wonders whether the painting goes too far. He also notes:
Had the roles been reversed, and it was Obama’s head hanging there, I think the outrage would be fantastic.
Certainly, a far less controversial painting completed in 2010 by Jon McNaughton that depicted Obama standing on the Constitution while all his presidential predecessors looked on generated a snide reaction from the Wonkette blog:
Steven Godfrey, the chairman of the Fine Arts Department at UAA, is quoted as saying:
I guess the people who are upset about the work that’s being shown, if they were taking a class at the university and made art that was considered controversial no matter what their religious or political bent is, we would do our best to protect them and protect their rights.