Impersonating at varying intervals a posh British man chewing on a tobacco pipe and a beret-wearing French artist, Glenn Beck spent a segment of his internet show, "GBTV," ruminating on art's history and purpose, in response to the work of Boston artist Michael D'Antuono's painting of President Obama as a crucified Jesus Christ.
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. I support his right to do exactly that. I agree with him that people who are upset should not trump his right to be able to do it and be able to hang it wherever he wants – as long as its wanted there.
But would artists like D'Antuono respect Beck's right to make his own brand of art?
"Kids do not try this at home," Beck said as he dropped an Obama figurine into a jar of what Beck called "pee-pee," but was later identified as a yellow liquid made to look like urine.
"I prefer to call this work of art ... 'Flo-bama,'" Beck said of his creation, which mimics the 1987 "Piss Christ" photograph by Andres Sorrano.
The Blaze, a website owned by Beck's media company, later explained the former Fox News host's intentions:
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 put the jar, called "Obama in Pee Pee," on eBay. Though the posting has since been removed -- eBay does "not allow the sale of bodily waste" -- it was going for $11,000.