The artist formerly known as President George W Bush has unveiled his portraits of 24 current and former world leaders at his presidential library in Texas.
George W, who took up painting after leaving the White House because he was a “driven person”, finally revealed his long-awaited portraits of different world leaders – which include Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair, the Dalai Lama and his father, George H.W. Bush.
The paintings are part of an exhibit — “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy” — that will go on display Saturday at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. Price of admission: $16. Seeing George W attempt a career as a painter: priceless.
But in some paintings, like the stern-faced portrait above of Russian President Vladimir Putin, George W really captures the essence of the subject.
“As you know, our dear dog Barney, who had a special place in my heart — Putin dissed him and said, ‘You call it a dog?’” Bush recalled. “A year later, I go to visit and Vladimir says, ‘Would you like to meet my dog?’ Out bounds this huge hound, obviously much bigger than a Scottish terrier, and Putin looks at me and says, ‘Bigger, stronger and faster than Barney.’
“I just took it in. I didn’t react,” Bush continued. “I just said, ‘Wow. Anybody who thinks ‘my dog is bigger than your dog’ is an interesting character.’ And that painting kind of reflects that.”
While the former president admits “I’m not a great artist”, someone should probably tell him these portraits aren’t exactly exhibit-worthy. His infamous bathtub/shower selfies? Yeah, I’d pay to see that. But a distorted oil painting of Putin? Meh.
I mean, it’s not like telling someone their artwork isn’t good enough will lead to anything bad… oh wait… the Holocaust.