Artist Michael D'Antuono has canceled the planned exhibition of a painting meant to mark the occasion of President Obama's first 100 days in office, the L.A. Times reports.
The Truth, as the work is called, depicts President Obama wearing a crown of thorns and in a crucifix pose, in front of the presidential seal. It was scheduled to go on view starting tomorrow in a mock voting booth on the south side of New York's Union Square. D'Antuono wanted people to line up and view it one by one.
"It was supposed to provoke political dialogue," the artist said. "I wanted to start a discussion. Is Obama being crucified by the right? Do people think he's the next savior?"
The response to the painting has been overwhelmingly negative, however, with the artist receiving more than a thousand e-mails that criticize his use of Christian imagery. "I canceled the showing out of respect for religion. It was not meant to offend so many people," D'Antuono said.
"I don't think it would be helpful to the cause of unity to show it."