The New Neosurrealism: Artist Creates Portraits of Naked Obama Riding His Unicorn


Unreal knows we were not the only one completely captivated by JibJab's satiric take on last year's Presidential campaign. To refresh your memory, that was the one with all the candidates singing a little ditty called "Time for Some Campaignin'" (to the tune of "The Times They Are A-Changin'"). Yeah, yeah, the one where Barack Obama makes his entrance prancing through a pastoral glade with little woodland creatures and -- yes! -- a unicorn!

Now that a year has passed, we can finally admit that this disconcerting combination of politics and Lisa Frank haunted our dreams. But the only reason we can admit this is that Minnesota artist Dan Lacey has created a series of paintings of our chief executive riding the unicorn on various heroic missions, like wrestling Wall Street into submission.
  • Dan Lacey

Before he began his Obama series, Lacey painted an equally witty collection of politicians and other objects with pancakes on their heads and acheived semi-celebrity when the blog Gawker used his portrait of Sarah Palin to illustrate a post about the former Alaska governor:

  • Dan Lacey
Lacey was feted and celebrated and even quoted in an article in The New York Times about Obama-themed art.

But then the clouds began to darken...

As reported in the RFT's sister paper, Minneapolis' City Pages, another Minnesota cartoonist named Ken Avidor noticed that Lacey's work seemed somewhat... familiar. Lacey, it turned out, was the creator of Faithmouse, a comic strip about the adventures of a pro-choice, evangelical Christian mouse.

Avidor's revelation turned out to be a tempest in a teapot. Lacey never found a publisher for Faithmouse. Lacey writes on his blog:
A few years ago I had something of a mental and spiritual breakdown, decided to make the cartoon Catholic, and then I decided to paint instead. I still draw the cartoon a little. My paintings sometimes horrify my family.
In one of his later adventures, Faithmouse smashed a Bible over the head of George W. Bush. Lacey was subsequently disowned by the evangelical community. So, uh, Avidor? Too little too late.

For more Lacey, go here.

Unreal now closes our tale with our favorite Lacey painting:
  • Dan Lacey

And the latest video from JibJab, which started it all:
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