george-w-bush-paintings

We asked an actual art critic to critique 6 new George W. Bush paintings

Mar 22, 2013

At Death and Taxes, we like to offer the best and most classy news to all of our discerning, high-brow readers. So, as you sit there in your high-back chair in front of a large fireplace, here’s some brand new paintings for you. They were painted by George W. Bush, the former President of the United States, because he is now a chill and relaxed guy and just sits around painting dogs all day like a winner of life would.

So here, dear reader, are the paintings. Oh, and you’ll notice that these paintings have been hacked from his email and posted online by someone named Guccifer. So there’s that. Anyway, please enjoy.

Screen Shot 2013 03 21 at 9.01.13 PM We asked an actual art critic to critique 6 new George W. Bush paintings

Screen Shot 2013 03 21 at 9.01.25 PM We asked an actual art critic to critique 6 new George W. Bush paintings

Screen Shot 2013 03 21 at 9.01.38 PM We asked an actual art critic to critique 6 new George W. Bush paintings

Screen Shot 2013 03 21 at 9.01.48 PM We asked an actual art critic to critique 6 new George W. Bush paintings

Pretty impressive, eh? Or perhaps not. To make sense of these paintings (postmodern? outsider art?) we turned to art critic and blogger Alexis Hyde. Here’s what she had to say:

The problem with the surfacing of George W. Bush’s new works is we don’t have a timeline. Were these painted before the self-portraits, after? How long had he been painting? How many classes had he taken? By the even more exaggerated issues with perspective and horizon I would say these are earlier works, before he was more confident. There is a sense of playfulness in these that is lacking in what I will refer to as his later work. Even the more serious “Bench with a Cross” is vibrant and the flowers could be described as playful. The cat in the plant is such a specific moment, an unposable subject, but ingrained in the painter’s memory nonetheless. The vibrant orange, the look on the cat’s face as if it had just been caught, which it probably had, doing something it wasn’t supposed to. It’s a slice of life portrait of a day in the life of a pet owner, a moment that wouldn’t be of much interest to anyone else yet so important that it had to be painted. These pet portraits also beg the viewer to ask, who are these animals? Are they his? Are they his friend’s pets, his family’s? How have they effected him so that they deemed it important enough to invest his time and skill? Are the shells an attempt to capture a memory of a pleasant afternoon on holiday? Are the animals an exercise in meditation, a way to focus on the carefree life of a loved family pet? It’s interesting to think, if they are earlier works, how he gained the confidence from these portraits to turn the canvas on himself. Did he start with the animals and still-lifes to keep from judgment from a thinking subject? Did he go on to do the self-portraits because no one could be harder on him than himself?

Yet again we are left with more questions than answers.

And again, I might just be projecting.

Image source: Gawker

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