Gawker has published a series of Bill Clinton sketches obtained by political hacker Guccifer, the prolific miscreant perhaps best known for first leaking George W. Bush’s paintings. The Clinton doodles, which date from his presidency, are simple affairs — pen or pencil on found paper. In the Oval Office, found paper can be White House letterhead, or briefing materials on Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic.
Presidential art is, understandably, an ongoing source of public fascination, and doodles themselves were the subject of an excellent 2006 volume put together by David Greenberg and Cabinet magazine: Presidential Doodlings. But Clinton’s work was excluded from the book — his office declined doodle disclosure — prompting NBC to demand in 2009 that this oeuvre be unmasked. And now that day has come.
The above drawing, a rendering of a brick wall partially obscuring a barren tree, before which lies in repose a fragment of motorcycle beside a malevolent swarm of dots, reveals in its instinctual revulsion toward the natural a caustic mysticism that vaguely recalls the layered pop-shamanism of the Pictures Generation painter Philip Smith. Feel free to take in the rest of Bill Clinton’s crypto-pop sketches over at Gawker.