General Question

ibstubro's avatar

What's your opinion of the portrait artwork of former US President George W. Bush, now on display at his Library?

Asked by ibstubro (10703 points ) April 6th, 2014

Are you able to separate your opinion of the man from your opinion of his art?

If you’ve not seen it yet, look here.

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60 Answers

jca's avatar

It was on the Today Show on Friday. It’s ok, but more importantly, if he has fun doing it, then it’s good for him. With him, I separate my opinion of his politics from my opinion of him as a person, and as a person, he seems like a kind of fun and silly guy.

gailcalled's avatar

During his terms in office, I would have happily voted for him as “Painter Laureate.”

He shows skill, perception and humor; too bad he didn’t get better career counselling.

GloPro's avatar

It depends on the viewer’s take on it. He clearly isn’t using hyper realism or photorealism. His style would be more painterly or impressionistic/expressionistic.

I wouldn’t purchase or hang it personally. I find it an interesting take on how GB interpreted his time with world leaders. He clearly isn’t all business, but we knew that already.

Good for him, and it deserves display.

ragingloli's avatar

Not only is it inept, it is shamelessly traced from an actual photo on Wikipedia

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @jca
I don’t feel at liberty to judge anyone, nobody is either all good or all bad, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to put on the presidential shoes for all the money in the world.
We all have gifts, strengths/weaknesses….have fun painting George!

ragingloli's avatar

@Coloma
And Hitler was nice to children and dogs, and was a vegetarian.
And yet we do not see any documentaries that are praising Hitler for that, or having exhibits dedicated to his paintings. Why? Because Hitler was one of the biggest monsters in Human history.

George W. Bush is the biggest war criminal of the 21st century. Trying to suppress and dilute this fact by redrawing him as this “good guy, quirky amateur painter” is frankly disgusting and a punch in the face of all his victims, and anyone who values justice.

pleiades's avatar

I like his works it’s not everyday you see a former world leader take up paintings let alone art. He’s definitely got his own style. Since he started so late in his life. I find it all comedy to be honest. He declared himself the, “War President” and he did it with a smile. I don’t know how he captivated the right winged citizens of the USA but hell he did it.

and @ragingloli I disagree that he is trying to dilute anything, he seemed the whole time to me a puppet on a string, but a great face none the less, riding the coat tails of his father.

The whole country was in shock during 9/11

I don’t know that any President could’ve handled it correctly… It’s kind of like going to a movie theatre and let’s say there are a group of us kids say group of 20 and were minding our own business then boom! Someone gets hit in the back of their head random act, we all turn around and look for who’s guilty, and then we find the guys in the same vicinity. Then we just choose the guy who resembles the closest thing to the group responsible for the actual actions then we make an example out of him.

I’m not saying I agree with this example, but group studies, social studies displays these kind of results a lot. It’s that animal side of us humans that I don’t agree with but it exists. Iraq got made an example of, even though we probably should’ve had that sort of aggressiveness with Afghanistan where we knew that 80% Osama Bin Laden was there.

I don’t agree with us going into Iraq for WMDs for me it was all a means for Cheney’s and Bush’s oil companies (yes they have huge ties with oil companies people don’t be fooled by WMDs!)

Coloma's avatar

@ragingloli Right, even Hitler loved dogs and children. I agree with @pleiades Until we walk a mile in anothers shoes we are clueless as to how we would handle anything.

Cruiser's avatar

I think it is great that he has such an interest in painting…I paint and do other forms of art and give props to anyone doing art no matter what the skill level. In each of the portraits you can see how he perceives each person. Putin’ portrait is particularly telling in how hallow and dark he painted Vlad’s face.

johnpowell's avatar

I suck at painting and actually wish I was as good as him.

He killed a few hundred thousand people for no reason but I am willing to discuss that in other places.

kritiper's avatar

Elementary, Watson.

Symbeline's avatar

Actually looks more like Canada’s Stephen Harper…:/

flutherother's avatar

He shows some talent. Who would have thought it?

gondwanalon's avatar

I am very impressed I had no idea that Bush was so good with the brush. Good likeness of George W Bush

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Paintings by “W” are not bad, but they looked like they were done using a projection of a photo onto the canvas. They do not look “freehand”. His self-portrait does not make him look better than he looks. For an international warmonger and war criminal, he has some small amount of harmless skill. These won’t redeem is reputation or legacy. Hitler was good at hanging wallpaper. He may also have made lampshades of the skin of human beings.

ucme's avatar

These paintings show a child like quality, very crude & rudimentary brush strokes, together with a simplistic understanding of colour, light & shade.
Not bad though, for a barely trained chimpanzee.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I would sooner view artwork by the other great nazi despot of our time, uncla adolf.

Cruiser's avatar

@Symbeline Actually it was a portrait of Stephan Harper….good eye! You know your heads of state! ;)

Symbeline's avatar

LOL it even shows the Canadian flag with his name…how did I not even notice this.

ibstubro's avatar

Like many here, I dislike the man but am pleasantly surprised by his art.

I am surprised that the link provided by @ragingloli didn’t garner more attention and that @Dr_Lawrence‘s ‘projection’ comment went uncommented on.

I’d like to know if there are other examples of photo’s mimicked by his paintings. (Of course, Warhol used similar technique at times.)

Symbeline's avatar

@ibstubro Yeah, I looked at this with more attention and saw he painted a whole bunch of other dudes, too.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Godwin’s Law never fails does it?

I’m pretty neutral about his art here. I don’t think it’s bad, but I’m not all that impressed with it ether.

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JLeslie's avatar

I don’t love his art, but I respect the talent it takes, and I love that he became interested in painting and pursued it. I think it is absolutely fine that it is on display at the library. I have only been to one Presidential library and I loved it. I wound up going three times, because I took other people when they were visting. After going there it makes me want to go to all of them, even the Presidents I overall didn’t like.

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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It never ceases to amaze me how such a terrible artist can get such amounts of publicity just because of their celebrity, yet there are countless extremely talented artists everywhere who can’t even get a show at their local library.

His artwork just sucks. I cannot even call it artwork. More like badly painted plagiarism of snapshot photos.

This photographer sued the Obama Hope Poster artist for plagairism. The painting from George are much worse copies of other photos. I hope every photographer sues him for each unoriginal piece of shit he creates.

ibstubro's avatar

Yet, @RealEyesRealizeRealLies, some noted art critics have given the paintings reasonably high marks.

If all the portraits are from photos, then I think a really good computer programmer could write an app to do these. Scan a photo and choose a mood/moods.

Oh, and I think there’s sort of a ‘bully pulpit’ to celebrity art. Winston Churchill was W’s muse.

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Seek's avatar

To secure the Law of Godwin,

Hitler was also a mediocre painter.

Smitha's avatar

The paintings aren’t the best but he’s a better painter than he was a president. (At least no one died from looking at bad art!)

Coloma's avatar

Well…for anyone that could’nt even draw a soup can, I don’t think it’s fair to critique. Even a not so great painting is still a 100 times better than most people could do. haha

dappled_leaves's avatar

I don’t think it’s any secret that he painted them from photographs. Nor do I think it’s any secret that they’re terrible.

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