Obama Artist Battles Republicans Over National Health Care Reform Debate

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Obama artist benefits from visitors intended for a Republican National Committee anti-health reform website, choosing instead to use the misguided traffic to his benefit by releasing a poster that promotes Nationalized Health Care.

Michael Cuffe and his painting Support Wellness: Nationalize Health Care

I see it as a win, win situation. If they're going to tell people why they are against health care, I am going to tell people why I am for it. Their Obama Experiment dialogue is sending a great deal of people to my Health Care supportive website. I'm just the ying to their yang.

It was a mid-July morning when artist Michael Cuffe noticed a sharp jump in website traffic on his Obama themed art site The Obama Experiment. Unknown at the time to Cuffe, the Republican National Committee had launched their own version of a website under the same name with a focus to bring down President Obama's campaign for health care reform.    

"I actually own The Obama Experiment.com, but the Republicans function under the same name at the another domain very similar to mine," explained Cuffe. "What's funny is that they've been sending half of their traffic, and been spending thousands to do so, to an National Health Care supportive Obama art website."

Cuffe has used the sudden jump in traffic to add his own voice to the healthcare debate, by releasing an image he hopes will have much the same effect as artist Shepard Fairey's well-known red, white, and blue Obama Hope image.

During the 2008 Presidential Campaign he received international recognition for a painting based on The Beatles Sgt. Pepper album cover, which featured the prominent players in the Obama Campaign. The artist sees his Obama Experiment website as a way promote White House policies and programs.

"I've already had a wave of angry emails from people who call me a Hitler supporter," said Cuffe. "Thankfully the amount of support and excitement towards my image has been awesome. The passions expressed across America shows me how directly this issue affects all of us, and I wanted to create an image to capture this moment."

High premiums and not being able to afford adequate heath insurance hit Cuffe at home for years. "It was instrumental in developing my thirst for a public insurance option."

When the Republican initiated spike in traffic hit Cuffe's Obama Experiment website, he felt it was time to develop his own argument for health reform. Painted in a juxtaposition of art nouveau and street art, Cuffe's "Support Wellness: Nationalize Health Care" poster is intended to excite and invigorate the current debate.

"People have asked me why I've focused on the healthcare issue now, especially when many of my art patrons feel otherwise," said Cuffe. "More than one family member of mine has been denied life saving treatments due to a tired system that focuses more on the bottom line, and less on human life. Even the best insurance offered provides little if you develop many standard cancers. The Insurance companies label everything "experimental" and refuse to fund alternative treatments proven to work. Get sick and see how much your insurance really covers."

Cuffe's passion for change is also apparent in the different way in which he creates and displays his art online. Well known for filming many of his paintings, Cuffe draws thousands to his Obama Experiment Videos Page offering a time-lapse glimpse into his studio.

"With all my art, I film it and speed it up, so the viewer can be directly part of my creative process," said Cuffe. "The Support Wellness painting took over a two weeks to complete, so individuals are always quite impressed to see a painting come together at 100,000 times the original speed."

When asked what he felt about the Republican version of The Obama Experiment, Cuffe said this: "I see it as a win, win situation. If they're going to tell people why they are against health care, I am going to tell people why I am for it. Their Obama Experiment dialogue is sending a great deal of people to my Health Care supportive website. I'm just the ying to their yang."

For additional information on the news that is the subject of this release, contact Obama Experiment Press Coordinator John Holiday by visiting The Obama Experiment Contact Page. Each Support Wellness poster is individually signed and numbered, with an edition limited to 1,000 prints. Prints are available from The Obama Experiment website along with other Obama based fine-art pieces.

About The Obama Experiment:
The Obama Experiment was founded in March 2008 by artist Mike Cuffe to raise awareness by creating art around then Senator Barack Obama's bid for the presidency. Currently the artist is focusing his art on White House policies and programs.

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