Don’t Be A H8er!



An Art Critic Reviews George W. Bush’s Paintings… And Isn’t Impressed

George W. Bush’s painting exhibition opened this weekend at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. Dubya’s premiere exhibition revolves around portraits of world leaders from Vladimir Putin to his own father, rendered in Bush’s strangely intriguing figurative style.

Art critic Deborah Solomon stopped by HuffPost Live to give her thoughts on the 43rd president-turned-burgeoning artist. Spoiler alert: she wasn’t particularly impressed.

“I would just like to point out they are basically very simple-minded as paintings,” Solomon explains, stressing the fact that Bush likely projects photographs onto a panel and copies them, a process known to the masses as tracing.

Although Solomon clarifies this technique is a “completely legitimate method” for postmodern contemporary artists, she notes that Bush doesn’t transform his imagery in any way beyond simply copying it. (It’s also unlikely that Bush is partaking in a postmodern exploration of the proliferation of images.)

New York Times art critic Roberta Smith was a bit kinder to Bush in her recent review of his show. “Mr. Bush has an uncanny ability to translate photographs into more awkward images enlivened by distortions and slightly ham-handed brushwork,” she explained. “His skill may be disconcerting for people who love painting and dislike the former president, but still, everyone needs to get a grip, especially those in the art world who dismiss the paintings without even seeing them.”

Perhaps Solomon summed it up best when she concluded, “I think a lot of us wish he had become a painter as opposed to a president. We all could have been saved a lot of trouble.”

But wait! There’s more!

The Guardian:

George Bush’s paintings bear uncanny resemblance … to Google images

Not only has George Bush stunned the art world with his ability with a paint brush, it now appears the former US president is also a dab hand using internet search engines.

Art critics have pointed out that Bush’s 30 oil paintings of world leaders appear to be have been based upon casual searches of Google Images.

Rather than have his subjects sit for him or use printed photographs, Bush seems to have based his portraits on the first picture thrown up by the search engine.

Critic Greg Allen highlighted the trend in his blog, pointing out that many of the pictures were taken from the subject’s Wikipedia entry. Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Tony Blair and John Howard were among those to get the Google Image treatment.

“If he had one, it would mean Bush’s studio assistant is very, very lazy,” Allen wrote.

“But in all his discussion of it, Bush’s painting practice appears to be a solitary one. He apparently did not tap the enormous archive of photos, taken by the professionals who followed him every day for eight years, which are contained in his giant library.

“Instead, it seems, he Googled the world leaders he made such impactful relationships with himself, and took the first straight-on headshot he saw.”

Critics have have been rather uncomplimentary about the 43rd US president’s efforts, which have been labelled “unsophisticated” and “dreary.”

One more, this time from Salon:

Portrait of a failed president: Inside the art of George W. Bush

Former President George W. Bush’s first public art exhibit, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at his presidential library in Dallas on Saturday. The left largely greeted his never-before-seen portraits of world leaders with a mix of derision and fascination.

It would be easy to merely rag on these paintings. Of course they’re terrible; Bush is an amateur painter, and very literal-minded. Commentators have compared the works to coloring-book images and kitsch. Those are fair enough descriptions. But when you take the pictures on their own terms, they also reveal something more interesting about the former president.

Bush has painted caricatures, intended to exaggerate the leaders’ personalities, not necessarily represent their likenesses. He’s not trying to match the impressionist masters, whose portraits — such as Renoir’s of his son in a sailor suit – draw attention to the exquisite details of their subjects’ expressive eyes and mouths. Dubya freely admits his paintings aren’t especially good.

They’re bad partly because he sees the leaders as a child would. He’s incapable, emotionally and technically, of finely observing them and conveying what they’re like independent of his own objectifications. He engages them without subtlety. In these paintings, he’s saying, “This guy’s got a super-neat hat!” (Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai); “this lady is strong!” (Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf); and so on.

I spent the better part of a decade despising George W. Bush. Until Barack Obama came along I thought Bush was easily the worst president ever. It didn’t seem to matter – I’m pretty sure Dubya doesn’t even know I’m alive.

But if I somehow managed to come face-to-face with George Bush I would be polite. I would shake his hand and call him “Mr. President.” If he asked I would admit I didn’t vote for him, but I wouldn’t explain why. I’d do the same thing with Barack Obama.

What would be the point of being rude? If I screamed “WAR CRIMINAL!!!” in Bush’s face the only thing it would accomplish is getting me tackled by the Secret Service.

Many, many years ago I fancied myself to be an artist. Then Santa gave me a drawing pad one Christmas and I tried drawing things. I didn’t need an art critic to tell me that I have no talent for art.

George Bush is a far better artist than me, and even he admits he’s not very good at it. But he doesn’t do it because he’s good, it’s more like a cross between therapy and a way to keep himself busy and active. It’s a just a hobby.

George W. Bush has been out of office for over five years. His political career is over but he’ll probably live a couple more decades. He’s not hurting for money.

Bush was not impeached. He’s never gonna be tried as a war criminal. He left office as one of the most unpopular presidents in history. It is doubtful that history will be particularly kind to him.

I just don’t understand the point of hating him. There is a reason that hate is listed as one of the seven deadly sins. Hate is an emotion that harms the hater.

Modern progressivism is a hate-filled ideology. It’s not hateful, because it is ostensibly an ideology of peace and love for our fellow humans. But in practice progressives are some of the angriest and hateful people who ever lived.

Don’t be a hater.


About Myiq2xu

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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102 Responses to Don’t Be A H8er!

  1. The Klown says:

    If I was grading this post I would say it lacks a coherent thesis. It’s really just some random thoughts that need to be tied together.

    But it’s the best I could do at 3-4 a.m.

    • Lulu says:

      The funny thing about George’s art is that he does portraits. It is the most difficult genre and art instructors do not recommend it for a beginner. He did it anyway. I think his paintings are funny and charming in an odd way. For art or cultural critics to get bent over his farting around with paint really shows more about them than W.

    • foxyladi14 says:

      You do great Klown. No matter what the hour.
      Thank You. 😀

    • DeniseVB says:

      A day without Klown is like a day without sunshine (or moonshine, I forget which). Your musings are what makes your posts. If I wanted coherent thesis, I’d read MichelleO’s Princeton paper…..oh wait 😉

  2. DeniseVB says:

    Any of us here who’s picked up a paint brush or taken a class laughs at the critics ! You can put a bowl of fruit in front of 20 people and get 20 very different bowls of fruit on the canvas. The result isn’t as important as the process of creating your “masterpiece”. But as you say, the haters gotta hate.

  3. angienc says:

    Lets focus on GWB’s hobby — which means nothing to the average American or world at large — so we can ignore Obamacare, Putin, et al.

    (Oh, btw, GWB is still doing work in Africa re: AIDS, so ya know, between that and his art, he’s actually doing more good than harm now).

    • DeniseVB says:

      He’s very much involved with the Wounded Warriors too. Every now and then the media will slip up and show a glimpse of him jogging or biking with them 😉

  4. jeffhas says:

    Oh come on… This is therapeutic for GWB in more ways then one.

    First, there’s the relaxing down time not worrying about daily security briefings and what trouble the world may bring each day.

    Second there’s the subtle re-entry into public life in a way that is non-political.

    … But the coup-de-gras has to be that ‘Art’ (acting/singing/literature/painting) is the domain of the left… And he is full-on tweaking them by sh*tting on their turf with a homogenized, Miracle Whip expression of portraiture.

    I echo the ‘used to despise the man while in office, until the next man who came in was even worse!’ sentiment…. But this guy is smart, and subtle in his stomping all over the left’s petunia’s – and they don’t even see it.

    • The Klown says:

      … But the coup-de-gras has to be that ‘Art’ (acting/singing/literature/painting) is the domain of the left… And he is full-on tweaking them by sh*tting on their turf with a homogenized, Miracle Whip expression of portraiture.

      Nobody is ever gonna mistake GWB for a pointy-headed intellectual, but he’s a lot smarter than I used to give him credit for.

    • Spot on assessment, jeffhas. I do wonder if one of the Bushes in the marriage is an Alice Neel fan. There’s parody in this collection, though whether or not it’s intentional I couldn’t say.

  5. DeniseVB says:

    Love this….

    • jeffhas says:

      You see, now that I hear him talk about these leaders, and his rationale, it seems sensible – and not at all the way it seemed when his words were coming out of Keith Olbermann’s mouth (wow, how the world has changed for me, but I digress).

      What is striking in that video is the idea of taking a personal interest and inviting someone to your home – which is all about befriending in a personal way that requires personal time and attention (as opposed to just ‘friending’ someone these days – yes, how the world has changed again)…. Then contrast that to the number of times in the past 5 years that our current President has expended his own personal resources of time and home to other world leaders – any world leader….OK, any leader of any kind… Wow – look at how the world changed… And it’s all just a bit more selfish as a result, I wonder why?

      • DeniseVB says:

        That was my take-away too. Bush v. Obama style. Invite them to your home (looked like either Camp David or the ranch), but that’s GWB’s folksy-ness. He even took the Japanese leader to Graceland because he knew he liked Elvis. Never really saw this side of him in the media. Meanwhile, Obama has a pen and a phone …. gangsta style 😉

        • jeffhas says:

          Obama befriends no political leader. Not foreign, not domestic.

          I’m sorry, but it is creepy beyond belief that he has no friends among peers…. But then again, in his mind, he has no peers.

          • mothy67 says:

            What about the Saudi king and the memorial selfie?

          • Somebody says:

            I thought Obama was friendly with the Turkish Prime Minister, at least that’s what he claims. That’s the only one I’ve heard him say he was friends with.

          • insanelysane says:

            If you get too close to him you will see the real person and that is an empty shell. A user, liar, and an ego driven man child. He hides it the best he can. Michelle see it, of course, but she is in on the scam.
            He has no real friends.

        • mothy67 says:

          Never a Bush fan but I did like Laura. She had a guiet dignity. When the current administration went casual I felt something was seriously amiss. Dress codes serve a purpose. Remind you of the gravity. Prrsidential staff should take the job very somberly. Not a frat party. Khakis and ironic t shirts do not cut it.

  6. mothy67 says:

    Drudge has an article claiming we are going to get hit with massive illegal immigration and the only way to fight it is amnesty. HUH?? Offendive how stupid they think we are.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I just read that Di Blasio wants all illegal immigrants in NYC to have photo i.d.s now. Isn’t that racist ? I tell ya, I’d play the game if I knew the rules !

      • elliesmom says:

        My husband and I went on a cruise a long time ago. There was a shuffleboard game on the deck, but we didn’t how to play. So we made up our own rules. Other people would stop by and see us having fun and ask us to teach them how to play. So, of course, we did. Near the end of the cruise we saw some people playing we had never met, and we asked them to teach us the real rules. And they did- they taught us ours.

  7. Somebody says:

    I agree the left and the art critics dissing on Bush’s paintings are ridiculous, but they just can’t help themselves now can they? Once Obama leaves office he could paint stick figures and they would all hail him as the 21st century Da Vinci.

    Jeffhas you have a very intriguing theory about Bush and his paintings………the passive/aggressive former POTUS, LOL!

    I wasn’t a Bush fan for a variety of reasons when he was in office, but I was never a Bush hater. If by chance I ever met him I would be nothing but respectful. I was a fan of Laura’s quiet style as first lady. I disagree that history will be unkind to Bush, sure in some respects it will but I think in others he may well be vindicated somewhat by history. I guess it ultimately depends on who writes said history though.

  8. Somebody says:

    Apparently there has been a school stabbing in PA waiting for #banassaultknives in 3….2…..1.

    Sporks for everyone no more evil assault knives!

    • DeniseVB says:

      Have not heard of any deaths….yet. Poor kids, guns, knives, it doesn’t matter, there’s a deeper problem we’re not addressing. There won’t be outrage about this from the gun control mob, so the story will probably go away soon 😦

      • mothy67 says:

        Not far from where I live. Scary. Local news has scant info. I feel we coddle too much. They have bullying things all the time at my brats school. I may be wrong but it seems overboard. My urchin was told by another student her home life was wierd. Guess what she was dead on. Eveything comes with a price. My baby girl does not have what most consider normal but she has to buck up. She has lots of things other kids do not. So much drama for being called wierd which is probably one of the nicer things people have said about me. Such a prolonged agonizing silly episode. Seven year olds call other kids names. Life takes its toll. Baby girl needs to be able to handle it. A perfect world where no one gets hurt is fantasy. Why are the same rules for education not applied to sports. I play Poor Poor Pitiful Me by Linda Rondstandt when the creature feels sorry for herself. I drop to the ground and scream it is the end of the world when things do not go her way. You betcha I am wierd but do not require morons giving sensitivity classes. Whatever happrned at the school is tragic but I do not see how the school becoming the parent can fix that

  9. lyn says:

    Salon’s art snob unconsciously described Obama: “They’re bad partly because he sees the leaders as a child would. He’s incapable, emotionally and technically, of finely observing them and conveying what they’re like independent of his own objectifications.”

    • DeniseVB says:

      Good catch 😀

    • DandyTIger says:

      Also, WTF kind of pop psych analysis of someone is that? We all do the silly armchair guesses at all sorts of people all the time, it’s fun, and we’d be irresponsible not to speculate, but shouldn’t these rags rise above wild guesses like that?

      • DeniseVB says:

        I also noticed the most critical folks on the left tend to be the ones who bash the rest of us for criticizing Obama policies….because we’re racist or something?

  10. mothy67 says:

    Go to an opening in a gallery. You will be astounded by pretense. I adhere to the premise that if it touches you who am I to judge. We enjoy art because it touches us in away that encourages humanity. Sometimes simple lines from pop songs hit me. Artists share their experience in living. Not everyone has traveled down the same road. Ridicule is small thinking and that is what most of the far left blogosphere has become. Easy to make a joke lot harder to think.

  11. dm says:

    I disliked Bush nearly as much as I despise Obama. Personally, however, I believe he is a decent human being. A wild child certainly in his youth. I watched a 9/11 special devoted solely to him and found him to be genuine and sincere – if not a bit naïve. I can’t conceive of ever, ever seeing a special about Obama and coming away with the same feeling…his arrogance just never lets up and he never comes across as a genuine person on any subject – except, he seems to genuinely admire himself.

    • mothy67 says:

      I did not like Bush for his response to 9/11. Seemed Guilliani was more presedential. I know noone could have been prepared for that day but in my book he came up short. The days after with that lingering stench and the constant news of somebody’s wife/son/friend . The silence in that noisy city was defeaning. Noone knew how to talk. Was it okay to laugh? It was impossible to accept what took place but the smell and the absence of those buildings made it just as impossible to ignore. Doubt any human being could have offered anything to assuage the pain but he seemed absent to me and then bingo we were invading Iraq.

      • dm says:

        My take away from the special, was less about his actions/inaction and more about the feelings he expressed…that to me was where I considered him to be more human than evil. I can’t imagine ever having any change of heart in any fashion about Obama…he’s a poser – nothing more, nothing less.

        • DeniseVB says:

          Funny how we miss what we had when something worse comes along to replace it.

          I hit the streets protesting the Bush wars, because War, What is it Good For ? But the extreme radical wing of that movement were vile haters of Bush, not just the war. Never could figure that out, they made me feel icky. I don’t think they were liberals, more like anarchists full of hatey-hate-hate … for our country. Yet they completely disappeared after Obama was elected. He still had wars, and for God’s sake, he doubled down on them ! Then those creepy OWS people picked up the slack, and still trying to figure out what we’re waiting for from that street theater. Obama’s been the most $upportive of Wall Street and he got a pa$$?

  12. mothy67 says:

    I find the Harry Potter books to be an example of the profound hypocrisy of the elites. I was a lit major for a year or two in college and was exasperated by that climate. The novels are fun and they speak to young minds. Yes she borrowed extensively but the books are for kids and the integrity of individual responsibility runs through the series. I read all the books to my tax exemption and I am overjoyed that she now loves reading and idolizes Hermione Granger. Tolkien is top ten of my favorite authors and Rowling has been accused of bastardizing his work but he too borrowed from antiquity.

  13. gxm17 says:

    Oh good grief, I couldn’t stand his presidency but this lefty artist thinks it’s great that he has taken up painting.

    • DeniseVB says:

      And who knows how many people Bush is inspiring to pick up a brush ? I think it’s great !

      • gxm17 says:

        Exactly! I hate it when someone tells me they “can’t draw.” Of course you can. All you need to do is pick up a pencil and put it to paper. Enjoy yourself and you’ll be surprised at what you can do.

  14. mothy67 says:

    I think art is tough. To be an artist you have to face the darkest parts of your being to be genuine. Parenting may be the greatest art there is when you think of what it is you create. Whoever said it was meant to be easy?

  15. mothy67 says:

    Because I think an artist always faces an up hill battle. Most people are dull and place persons in convenient slots. Easy. This was my first crush . She is an adult hot Dora the Explorer. She actually used honeychild in a song. Why?

  16. Lulu says:

    Lois Lerner was thinking about leaving the IRS to work for OFA her emails show. She was doing this while persecuting her ideological political enemies. Madame Defarge of the IRS for Obama needs to go to jail.

    • 49erDweet says:

      My problem with putting Lerner, Holder, et al, where they belong too soon is the presidential pardon solution. Much rather be patient now, and later zonk them all for looooooong terms.

      • Lulu says:

        As long as the statute of limitations hasn’t run out by 2017 I am fine with with waiting. I would like to see them disbarred too. I think Bronco is going to pardon a bunch of people on his way out as a way to protect himself.

  17. swanspirit says:

    My mother was an artist . She won Baltimore’s Best in her category one year . I attended the award ceremony . You should have heard all the sniping ! I thought it was hilarious, and repugnant at the same time . The art snipes couldn’t even be gracious at a local art event . But , having grown up with art ,( the smell of oil paints takes me back to before I was 4 years old and it is heavenly ! ) really good art, I just have to laugh at the snipers. GWB’s paintings are not really that bad . They aren’t great art , but you can easily identify the subject, and there is something of their character in each one . That is not so easy to do . They have a folky primitive feel to them . The only fair way for someone to critique them would have been without identifying the artist , and obviously it is too late for that . And we all know the hypocrites too well . If Moochelle or Barack had turned these portraits out , they would be falling all over themselves with praise and adulation , and talking about her potential to be a grate arteeest etc etc . You know , the kind that grates on your nerves 😉

  18. 49erDweet says:

    ROFL that far, far, far more analysis and effort is going into discussing, critiquing and dissing GWB’s artwork than he’s expending producing it. Must suck to be an idiot.

  19. votermom says:

    The Left would have us hate anyone who is not part of the Borg. So Bush has cooties and so does his hobby.

  20. helenk3 says:

    well I guess the 1984 redefining of words is in full effect now. Liberal used to mean accepting differences. Not judgmental and being inclusive.
    conservative meant not as accepting and not as open to differences.

    now liberal have become what they fought. judgment – full of hate and just plain ugly
    old saying ” God don’t like ugly”

    Conservative means more inclusive, less judgment

    strange times we live in

  21. helenk3 says:

    I ordered the book chrome for dummies, so I could learn how to use it. it is on my nook and the damn nook died. will not have the info until new nook arrives and I transfer all my books

  22. The Klown says:
  23. The Klown says:
    • 49erDweet says:

      The emotional illogic of leftoids is so self destructive it boggles rational minds. Fortunately, very few of them possess much in danger of boggling.

  24. The Klown says:
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    • 49erDweet says:

      Other than that Cummings is a lying sack of egesta, can’t think of a reason…

    • DandyTIger says:

      Kind of explains all his protesting about the hearings. He was worried if they kept digging they’d find out he’s a crook like Lerner and others at the IRS.

      • 49erDweet says:

        If the emails are true and he participated with Lerner in a scheme to target political opponents, I’m ready for serious charges against Cummings leading to censure. If a white republican had done the same thing during a GOP admin, he should receive the same level of admonition. No more but no less.

  28. The Klown says:
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    • DandyTIger says:

      Um, fascism is about a totalitarian state, where the state absorbs or controls corporations. And everything else. So really it doesn’t seem to be a left-right thing per se. But these days I’d say authoritarinism is much more likely to come from the left.

  30. 1539days says:

    I’ve been a Bush supporter, except for a period between 2003-2004 where the job market sucked (still not as bad as Obama). I’m not much for appreciating art or critiquing it. What amuses me is the way elitists have to break their own rules to try denigrating Bush for his art.

    Huffpoo brings up tracing, then immediately has to back track and call it a legitimate artistic method. It is likely that many of the masters used the invention of the lens to project an image onto a canvas and paint onto it. There’s a movie out now called “Tim’s Vermeer” that shows in detail how it was done.

    Art is highly subjective and there is an increasing amount of bullshit in the field. Performance art is almost all performance and no art. Bush is not “good” in the sense that he is not realistic, but that is only a subset of paintings. In fact, Bush being a former president would normally give gravitas to his art, except the professional left doesn’t like him.

    Bush entering the art world is similar to Christians entering the movie industry. Forget Noah, the movie “God’s Not Dead” has made over 30 million dollars. Many of the reviews of the movie criticize the writing and characters, but those flaws exist in most other Hollywood movies with much larger budgets. This is Andrew Breitbart’s great wish. Conservatives are entering traditionally liberal fields and using their own pomposity against them.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I took a poll on my FB page and took hubby to see Captain America for his birthday yesterday at a yummy cinema cafe. He was pleased. No one suggested Noah, even Special Greg wanted to see the Muppets movie over Noah. That was fun too. Sigh, I have two husbands 😉

      • 1539days says:

        I saw God’s Not Dead Sunday. I’m waiting a few weeks for Captain America when it’s less crowded. I avoid Noah like the flood.

  31. The Klown says:
    • The Klown says:

      The “true” home run king and best hitter that ever played the game of baseball is Barry Bonds. #SFGiants

    • lyn says:

      What a douche!

    • 49erDweet says:

      The sports world today is just as racist as it was 100 years ago. Aaron paid a terrible personal price for his “celebrity”. Lesser men might have erupted on some of his idiot teammates. Sad that Aaron got bitter instead of better, but it happens a lot.

    • insanelysane says:

      He does know that bigotry is whitewashing an entire group based on the actions of a select few? Right?? He knows that? Right?

      I guess not.

    • mothy67 says:

      I love Long Island. Lived in Ronkonkoma for a while. So many trees and the lake. Former bosses/friends opened up a Cajun Restaurant in Mineola. Think its called Biscuits and Barbecue. Reviews are good. They also own The Delta Grill on 47th and Ninth in NYC. Very good people.

  32. DeniseVB says:

    More…Breaking, I think….can’t ever tell 😉

  33. mothy67 says:

    Judge ruled today my brat stays where she is all visits require supervision. One more court date to go. Best part was he told the judge he had only been arrested once. She evidently has that bossy gene cause she said you are aware that I have your criminal record in front of me. Would you like to amend your statement. He lied again. She just shook her head. Attorney thinks the next hearing is a win and she asked me to ask my pup if she was okay with talking to the judge. I am comfortable with it and so was she. Family court is insane. Fourth meeting that costs hundreds of dollars per hour and it has been clear since the first meeting how it would go. He actually cried in the hallway to the police about how unfair it was. Not asking for a penny but my lawyer says I can have all monies placed in a college fund and they will take it directly from his paycheck. Never what I wanted but as I am now down I think why not. Raced like mad from the courthouse and no sign of little one. I went into full crazy mode pounding on the school doors the same day of the high school stabbings in the area. I was out of my mind. Where was she. They wouldn’t let me in the building and I think I frightened a few. She was in the bathroom.

      • mothy67 says:

        The process in family court is insane. More than twenty thousand insane. Everyday in the paper is there is a story about some poor kid. My little one has straight A’s takes swim, dance, softball and karote.She is just a good kid. NO way in hell is she going to live in a place that has 35 registered sex offenders. NO FUCKING WAY. I do ot even like children or animals but now at 47 I deal with the tyke two insane dogs and a,rabbit. Then there were those kittens left in a box to die i I am allergic to cats but I had to keep them for weeks. I tried very hard to hate them but they just would not stop crawling all over me.. Lot of decent people out there. The vet never charged me a cent and he gave me ton of food stuffs. Also a lot of assholes. HOW DO YOU deposit kittens in a box and walk away?

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