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This shadowy, artistic shot of Glenn Beck’s “Obama in Pee Pee” artwork comes via

Three years ago, New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz challenged Glenn Beck to curate two exhibitions, one of work he disapproved of, another of work he liked. Beck ignored the offer. But this week, the right-wing radio host entered the art world in different way: He made a piece of art.

Andres Serrano, “Piss Christ” (1987) (image via Wikipedia)

To be more specific: Beck peed in a jar and then put a figurine of Obama inside. Sound familiar? The appropriation — if I may be so generous as to call it that — of Andres Serrano’s artistic gesture  makes complete sense, given the fact that “Piss Christ” is, like, the artwork that everyone on the right loves to hate: it helped spark the NEA controversy and culture wars of the 1990s, and it continues to piss people off (pun intended) wherever it goes. Yet this history also makes Beck’s use of the strategy somehow more ironic.

Derivativeness aside, I have to say that the Obama statuette Beck chose for the work, which is quite maturely titled “Obama in Pee Pee,” is really an uninspired piece of kitsch that barely even looks like the President. With an undoubtedly large and enthusiastic staff at his disposal, Beck could have done better.

But the best part of the whole story may be the write-up about it on Beck’s own website. “Glenn Beck’s shocking Obama art piece,” the headline reads. Doesn’t he know that art can’t really shock anymore? The post then goes on to explain the work as a reaction to a painting that depicts Obama as Jesus; Beck defends that painting because of the Constitution, “the one irrefutable piece of art which gives people the freedom.” (Which freedom, again?)

The post continues:

But would people on the left agree with Glenn? In the same way that the artist pushed the buttons of conservatives and people of faith with his painting of Obama, Glenn decided to create his own piece of art with Obama.

Oh, Glenn. You can’t bait the figureheads of the art world into outrage or censorship this easily; the best way to get their attention is with money. If you manage to sell “Obama in Pee Pee” for that asking price of $25,000 — well, then someone might just take notice.

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Jillian Steinhauer

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art...

28 replies on “Glenn Beck Makes Really Bad “Piss Obama” Artwork”

  1. what if obama took a shit on a picture of glenn beck n called it ‘black face beck’?

    whats with the ring of moisture around the bottom of the jar? did he miss?

    i once had a lighter with a little military guy in the lighter fluid and it said ‘support out troops’ and right below just as big it said ‘made in china’…

      1. Hmmm…. I guess not. But I do think it’s an important work. The word “irony” doesn’t touch the depth of this work. I mean, I think it’s the ultimate in self-mockery in so many ways, and seemingly so effortlessly achieved too. And timely, as the likes of Mittens and Grover seem to be going down… um, the toilet… right around now as well.

        1. Its not self-mockery or irony. You may have been confused because the accurate description also starts with an I. … Ignorant.

          1. Yes, true, ignorance plays a big, big role. But usually when one is so ignorant, one keeps it private. Yet Beck went public. To be so ignorant AND so boldly public can only be self-mockery, I’d say. It’s exactly like 9 candidates on stage vying for the presidency and declaiming Darwin’s theory of evolution as false. But, by Beck’s embracing an art form the conservatives once claimed, literally, the work of the devil, he takes it one step further and actually creates a work of art out the imbecility of the far reaches of today’s American right-wing. It’s marvelous, really! And all this in total ignorance, agreed. It’s really something. No joke, of course. But it is totally hilarious. LMFAO. My congrats to Beck. It’s nearly priceless.

      2. I think I would for sure buy a “black face beck” as described below. But I bet the bidding would put it well beyond my reach very quickly.

  2. Um… the Piss Obama thing has already been done. I can’t remember the artist off hand — but I remember seeing it on Facebook back in 2009. Ha, ha.

  3. Well, its ignorant, racist, and clearly is based on never having seen Piss Christ or knowing anything about Serrano’s work which included numerous other “Piss” subjects based on various (generally non-religious) icons… but he has the right to make it and show the entire world what an ignorant, racist, and immature fool he really is.

  4. I’d say you took notice. It’s a start. One could hope it ends there, OR… one could hope someone does buy it and the story moves on toward greater absurdity. I do wish he’d made the thing better looking. It looks like it should have been called, a bad day for the Cake Boss!

  5. This is real art. Made with genuine passion and feeling as opposed to the shit loads of meaningless crap poser art being churned out by hipster wannabees. It eats irony for lunch. Anyone who hates this just because of the artist is a blatant hypocrite, and there isn’t much that is worse to be than that. Of course, if you are one, you have no idea what I’m talking about so go back to your little corner of hell and whine about corporations and evil rich people. Speaking of hate the rich, you might want to stop spending so much of your money on lottery tickets!

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