Give me a break.
I am quite sure that the artist who painted this really WAS part of a cult and this was created to be subliminal advertising for his California-Christ cult (snark).
Sorry. I'm not buying it. While Archbishop Lazar raises some very familiar points about the differences between Orthodox iconography and western religious art, it is comparing apples and mini-vans. The point of such comparison is quite moot. Art and iconography are two completely different things, created for and serving two completely different purposes (I think any Orthodox icongrapher would agree).
This might be far-fetched, but could it be that Richard Hook was simply a western Christian? A Protestant, perhaps? If so, then he, like me until recently, might have spent a lifetime knowing nothing about icons or iconography at all. Christ's divinity was made most manifest to us less in his physical appearance than in his words and actions. This portrait does not deny the Savior's divinity, it merely portrays his humanity. Let's not read more into it than there is.
Could it be possible that Mr. Hook painted a portrait of the human Jesus to help us remember that he walked here on earth as our brother once upon a time? Or perhaps to help us see Christ in all people that we meet - even the very plain and ordinary looking people? Could he have painted the portrait for no other reasons than out of love for Jesus Christ? (how sinister!)
Come. On. Nobody's asking anyone to venerate this painting. It's art, not an icon. Orthodox Christians who call it "the anti-Christ" or "heretical" have simply gone a bit overboard here. We'd do well to stick to commenting on the genre which is part of our tradition. Art is subjective - icons are not.
I don't happen to care (stylistically) much for this portrait of Christ which hung in our living room all during my childhood. In fact, I never have, though I have a strange sort of attachment to it. It was there in our home all those years, reminding me that Christ was there, too.
That is not unimportant.