Presidential Portraits: Middle Eastern Leaders Seen through a Bush!
Act quick if you want to catch a first-time art exhibit by former US President George W. Bush! Entitled, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” the show includes portraits of 24 world leaders - including six of his Middle Eastern besties! It remains on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas through next week.
Some of his paintings, mostly cats and dogs and the odd self-portrait, had previously been released for public view. But a few more cringe-worthy pieces - including ones of the artist in a bathtub and shower! - were leaked online by a hacker last year. At the time, Bush said he felt that much of his artwork wasn't ready for public viewing (um, do you think?) - but apparently had a change of heart, and the current exhibition was conceived.
He said he hoped the subjects of his paintings like what they see. “I hope they take it in the spirit in which these were painted,” Bush said. “That was the spirit of friendship. I admire them as leaders and was willing to give it a shot in terms of getting people to see how I felt about them.”
Bush, the 43rd American president, signs his works “43.” He quipped, “I tell people that the signature on my paintings is worth more than the paintings.”
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News last year, Bush added that painting gives him an opportunity to create. He also reflected on what others think of his work.
“People are surprised,'” said Bush, “Of course, some people are surprised I can even read.”