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Can George W. Bush eclipse his legacy as a war criminal and one of the worst presidents in American history by continuing to make weird nude self-portraits? Mrs. Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager sure seem to hope so, based on their recent appearance on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
The ex-president’s amateur painting career was first discovered in 2013 by a hacker called Guccifer: Two subtly unnerving self-portraits picturing Dubya in the shower and bathtub were leaked from his sister’s email account. More paintings later emerged — of dogs, horses, fruit — and soon, Bush was staging an exhibit of his portraits of world leaders. In this clip, Laura and Jenna explain what started all this: a drawing app. “He got the app on his iPhone — the Penultimate — and he drew these very funny stick figures,” Laura explained. When the former First Lady complimented one of these stick figures — “George, that’s very interesting lines.” — it went to his head.
“There was actually a period where he only communicated through his ‘art,’” Jenna told Fallon. “He would send Barbara and me a text that said ‘Going on an airplane’ and would do a stick figure of an airplane … Now he’s painting Putin,” she says, pronouncing it poo-din. Bush’s use of iPhone as canvas doesn’t necessarily disqualify him from the race to art world glory: Legendary British painter David Hockney draws on an iPad.
For the crime of making us all contemplate Bush’s inner life, Guccifer was sentenced to four years in prison in 2014. When he gets out, maybe he’ll leak the iPhone sketches that inspired Bush’s “Dead Iraqi Child” paintings.
“The impossibility of reforming Tony [Soprano] bears some resemblance to the crisis plaguing museums and toxic philanthropy today, where a culture of bullying and exploitation belies programming of socially- and politically-engaged art.”
As a critic, I’m dying to make a meta-critique of the ways my communities are represented on screen.
Over 50 years of the artist’s video and media work on how images, sound, and cultural iconography inform representation is on view through December 30.
Frey ponders why she felt comfort in television and film content that intellectuals often take pride in dismissing.
What does Rutherford Falls, a new TV series that prominently features two small town museums, tell us about the way people see the contentious stories on display in history and art institutions?
Over the course of three months, the resident artists in Going to the Meadow will collaborate and create with a curated set of continually changing materials.