Posters Show Obama as Superhero, Sun God, Saint

Poster

"Yes We Can" by artist Antar Dayal From store.barackobama.com hide caption

itoggle caption From store.barackobama.com

Artists who back Democrat Barack Obama depict the presidential candidate as a transcendent figure. One poster shows Obama with a halo. Another likens him to a revolutionary peasant.

Steve Seidman, chairman of the strategic communication department at Ithaca College, tracks the role of iconography in politics. He finds a long tradition behind a recent Obama poster, "Yes We Can" by artist Antar Dayal, in which the candidate's face is turned toward the horizon.

"He's gazing into the distance, almost like a visionary," Seidman says. It's a common approach, the professor says. The Obama rendering reminds him of posters for presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and the first George Bush. "Even Adolf Hitler — posters in his election campaigns in Germany have shown him gazing into the distance."

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