One of the most interesting things to come out of the hacking and publishing of private Bush family emails, is photos of artwork done by former President George W. Bush. While the art has garnered some ridicule, notably a comment on Gawker stating that the “paintings were just as awkward and simple as you’d hope,” at least one major art critic has been very complimentary of the former president’s skills as an artist, reports Yahoo.
Jerry Saltz, an art critic at New York Magazine, judged Bush to be a “good painter” in an article that appeared in the magazine’s culture blog, Vulture.
“OMG! Pigs fly. I like something about George W. Bush. A lot,” wrote Saltz.
Some of Saltz’s praise was backhanded, such as saying that Bush is “someone doing the best he can with almost no natural gifts, except the desire to do this.” However, he urged Bush to continue painting and even suggested that the Whitney Museum of Art “get on the stick and offer this American a show.”
Saltz should be admired for offering what seems to be an honest critique of President Bush’s paintings in spite of his personal opinion of him. It is to be expected that many will view the pieces with a closed mind, not even attempting to be objective.
The three paintings by Bush that were leaked include two self-portraits, “one of him peering in a mirror in the shower, the other of his knobby knees and feet in a bathtub filling with water.”
Saltz said that he “loves the bather portraits.”
It is a surprise to most that Bush has taken up painting. This hobby of his has not been widely reported. If Bush ever decides to auction any of the work, it will be interesting to see how much it goes for, and if Saltz bids on any of it.