Fact Check-Photo of man in body paint does not show Joe Biden senior advisor John Podesta

(Editor’s note: Media linked to in this article includes partial nudity at an art installation)

There is no evidence that an image of a man covered in body paint shows U.S. President Joe Biden’s senior advisor John Podesta. The image was taken as a part of an art installation in New York City on June 18, 2010.

A Twitter post with over 1.9 million views at the time of publishing can be seen (here) with the text, “Here’s former Clinton campaign chairman and current Biden senior advisor, John Podesta. No word yet on whether this pic was taken before or after he tortured and sacrificed a child for adrenochrome.”

Adrenochrome refers to a red-colored substance that derives from the oxidation of epinephrine, also known as adrenaline (here, here). It has, however, been of focus for adherents of the widely debunked conspiracy theory QAnon (here), who believe “global elites” harvest the chemical from children and consume it to stay healthy and young. More information about this available on Wired (here) and First Draft (here).

Another example can be seen (here).

The photograph of a man apparently covered in red body paint is from an art installation that took place between June 2009 and June 2010 and appears on the website of artist Ryan McGinness (here) with the text, “50 Parties, June 2009-June 2010, installation views, 50 parties hosted in the studio, each with a different theme/concept, every Friday for a year, New York.”

McGinness has published a book highlighting photographs from the installation (here) and the photo of the man in red appears on the front cover.

It also appears on the website for the installation (archived, partial nudity warning) (here) (here), in a photo collection for “Party 49,” on June 18, 2010.

Reuters was not able to identify the man in the photograph. However, there is no evidence it shows Podesta.

On June 18, 2010, Podesta spoke at the American Constitution Society Convention (here) and (here).

Representatives for McGinness and the White House didn’t immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.


Miscaptioned. There is no evidence the man in the image shows U.S. President Joe Biden’s senior advisor John Podesta.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .