Of all of Mecier's portraits, I think I like the Barack Obama piece most. In all of Mecier's work, he is selecting items that somehow represent the persona of the portrait subject. Sometimes these items are easily explained, like the Snoop Dogg weed portrait that comes next in this slideshow. But what I like about the Obama piece is how the items Mecier uses to create the image provide an opportunity for the viewer to project onto the items their own biases.
For example, does the oil container on the bottom left speak to Obama's campaign pledges to help get the US off our addiction to oil? Or symbolic for his role in expanding oil drilling? What should we make of the blue flip-flop? Do the various army men, cowboys and indians represent Obama's support for ending our multiple wars or say something to his opponents' fears about this views on military power? Do the numerous corporate logos represent his ties to the corporate America his opponents accuse him of hurting? Or are they a statement about our bought-off political system? There's so much to see and digest in this piece that there's no one message to take away from the piece. This is one of my favorite things about art.
Barack Obama portrait by Jason Mecier