|Jasper Johns, Flag, 1954/55, Encaustic, oil, and collage on fabric mounted on plywood, MOMA (artist's copyright)|
'It has been noted that Jasper Johns’ work, playing off familiar images, has transfixed people around the world,' said Obama at the White House ceremony. 'Like great artists before him, Jasper Johns pushed the boundaries of what art could be and challenged others to test their own assumptions. He didn’t do it for fame, he didn’t do it for success—although he earned both.'
It's difficult to imagine either the previous incumbent or this year's Republican contender speaking with such eloquence and enthusiasm about a modern painter.