Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Why Does George W. Bush Paint (and Why Do We Look)?
When former President George W. Bush’s self-portraits in the shower and tub slipped into public sight a year ago, the general critical approaches either commented on the amateur quality of the work, on the obvious symbolism of cleansing (if you were a critic and thought he had something to cleanse himself of), or on both. Bush allegedly took up painting less than a year before the revelations, making him the most viewed
art rookie of modern times. Now, in a new exhibition at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum titled The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy, Bush puts his artwork out there for comment on his own terms. The art’s still amateurish, but the content—portraits of “41”
and “43,” as the Bushes refer to themselves, as well as other world
leaders—cries out for commentary beyond the brushwork. Why “W.” paints
remains a bit of a mystery that he hasn’t fully cleared up. But why we
look says as much about his legacy as it does about our continuing
struggle to come to grips with it. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Why Does George W. Bush Paint (and Why Do We Look)?"