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Staff Pick: Art, Politics And The Paintings Of Jon McNaughton

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Artist John McNaughton's painting "MAGA RIDE" (2019)

Critics have called Provo painter Jon McNaughton's work "junk" and "visually dead as a doornail." But McNaughton isn't worried about impressing the arts community; he says his goal is to communicate a political opinion. This episode was picked by Doug Fabrizio.

RadioWest divider.

Provo painter Jon McNaughton has gotten a lot of attention for his highly politicized artwork. Art critics, however, aren't impressed; they've called his paintings "junk" and "visually dead as a doornail." McNaughton says he isn't worried about impressing the arts community; his goal is to communicate a political opinion. McNaughton and others join us to talk about political imagery and the relationship between art and ideology.

This program was first broadcast on March 29, 2012.

Here's what Doug Fabrizio had to say about this episode:

In 2012, we wanted to do a show about a painting that was getting a lot of attention, all over the country. It was by the Provo artist Jon McNaughton. His art isn't terribly subtle, and in it he makes some bold political statements. So, we wanted to talk to him about his pictures, which, by the way, he continues to make. These days, McNaughton is going to town on Donald Trump paintings—he's a big supporter. One painting he did shows Trump and Melania riding a motorcycle covered in American flags, with people on the sidelines cheering and saluting him. Another one shows Trump crossing the Delaware River, like George Washington.

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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