Former president George W. Bush has been known to have taken up painting since February 2013, when a hacker revealed some of his canvases, depicting himself in the bath, that were lifted from Bush family e-mails.
While many dismissed the president’s daubings, New York magazine critic Jerry Saltz headlined a review: “George W. Bush is a Good Painter!”
Now Bush will have his very own solo show, at Dallas’s George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Among the subjects of his portraits are Russian President Vladimir Putin, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his father, George H.W. Bush.
“I do take painting seriously,” Bush told Jay Leno during an interview on the “Tonight” show. “It’s changed my life.”
“The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy” is to open early this month, according to press materials, which indicate that it will premiere more than two dozen portraits by Bush, accompanied by artifacts and photographs.
Speaking to his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, on the “Today” show this morning, Bush said of his subjects, “I hope they take it in the spirit in which these were painted-and that was a spirit of friendship, and that I admired them as leaders and was willing to give it a shot in terms of getting people to see how I felt about them.”