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Andy Andersen’s depiction of Dr. Anthony Fauci as Saint Pantaleon the healer (courtesy the artist)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, is by all accounts the man of the hour. While facing threats to his safety from rightwing elements, he is also being showered with praise and admiration, sometimes uncomfortably, as he became the most recognized voice in the United States on the coronavirus pandemic.

On social media, Fauci is being celebrated with thousands of artistic tributes, from admiring portraits and cartoons to tattoos, sock puppets, and saint icons bearing his image.

One of the most intricate tributes to Fauci belongs to Andy Andersen, an illustrator based outside of Los Angeles. His illustration depicts the famed doctor as the late-medieval Saint Pantaleon the healer. “Saint Fauci” holds a box of medicine, flanked by angels of death and spikey coronaviruses.

“I based it on some of the classic saint iconography that exists,” Andersen explained to Hyperallergic in an email. “The pose, the composition, the elements all reference those iconic images, but updated with references to the virus.”

“To me, Fauci is the calming, reassuring voice during this confusing and unpredictable time,” Andersen wrote. “He reminds me of a grandfather who assures you that everything will be ok. It will be hard, it will most likely suck, and sh#!t will happen, but in the end, everything will be ok. The silver lining is that humanity has such a competent, intellectual powerhouse on its side.”

Several other fans also elevated Fauci to saintdom. One of them created a “Saint Fauci” votive candle with the caption: “Not all heroes wear capes! ????”

One of the most famous public images of Fauci captures him facepalming as President Trump was making a joke about the “Deep State Department” during a coronavirus briefing at the White House. For many Americans, the image highlighted Fauci as a voice of reason in contrast with Trump’s political ramblings. But for others, it made him an enemy.

Brad Albright, an artist and an illustrator based in Texas, decided to perpetuate Fauci’s facepalm with a sticker. “Somebody get this man some (more) medals, honors and awards!!! Seriously. He’s a saint,” he wrote in the caption.

In addition, there are myriad admiring portraits of Fauci online, from pencil sketches to paintings and GIFs. One such artwork, titled “The Explainer in Chief,” captures Fauci explaining the disease to the press cameras. The artist, Phil Bateman, writes in the caption: “Who else but Anthony Fauci could tell you terrifying things and yet whose terrifying explanations made you feel better because you believed only him among all the voices[?]”

How does this intense level of attention affect Fauci himself? When asked in an interview with CBS’s Gayle King if he feels personal pressure he calmly answered, “It’s my job. This is the life I’ve chosen and I’m doing it.”

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Hakim Bishara

Hakim Bishara is a staff writer for Hyperallergic. He is also a co-director at Soloway Gallery, an artist-run space in Brooklyn. Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital...

6 replies on “Artists Across the Internet Make Tributes to Dr. Anthony Fauci”

  1. He is a saint. He will survive the pandemic if he can survive the idiot in the Oval Office who is more of a threat to us than the virus!

  2. It’s sad to see artists jumping on the bandwagon of someone who first estimates a million CV19 deaths then revises the number to 60k, which is only 5,000 higher than the 55,000 2017 Flu/Pneumonia deaths recorded by the CDC. The Orange Rat is truly a sociopathic criminal liar but blindly praising anyone who opposes him is downright dangerous. Fauci just said yesterday
    “I don’t think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you.” No hugging or physical touch between humans for the first time in human history? Like when one is incarcerated behind glass walls and bars? WTH? Facts most people won’t see on MSM is that the numbers on CV19 are NOT going to exceed the last two flu epidemics Asian and Hong Kong and will only be 2x the 2017-2018 flu season of 80,000. Seriously, this is a bad flu, in a world with high proportion of elderly that will get pneumonia and diabetic/carb corporate diet problems that reduce immunological responsiveness. Is this reason to resort to 1984 totalitarianism? No! When the final numbers confirm this i hope people are brave enough to see the truth that CV19 has been blown up as cover for an infinite money bailout of failing capitalism while locking down the future self-ruling behavior of the 99% to just say no to the 1%. Disaster capitalism shock doctrine enabled by unquestioning acceptance of “experts” like Fauci. Sad.

    1. And he has continued to flip flop on his advice on the virus, how it is transmitted, efficacy of masks, etc. about 28743857465346475345 times.

  3. So happy for you in the US that you have an intellect like Dr Fauci’s helping to get you through. Here in NZ we have our wonderful PM, Jacinda Ardern, and a pretty smart and calm Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. We’d better get some art going here methinks!

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