"Yes We Can" by artist Antar Dayal
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."