iTunes-7-Icon-big rss

Home » Art News » Currently Reading:

Hacked George W Bush paintings help us inch (slightly) towards empathy

February 8, 2013 Art News No Comments

20130208 164800 Hacked George W Bush paintings help us inch (slightly) towards empathy

A hacker obtained private emails among Bush family members that include paintings by George W Bush. Photograph: guardian.co.uk


poweredbyguardianBLACK Hacked George W Bush paintings help us inch (slightly) towards empathyThis article titled “Hacked George W Bush paintings help us inch (slightly) towards empathy” was written by Oliver Burkeman, for theguardian.com on Friday 8th February 2013 16.36 UTC

 Hacked George W Bush paintings help us inch (slightly) towards empathy

As you’ve maybe heard by now, several email accounts belonging to the Bush family appear to have been hacked, and The Smoking Gun website has published a selection of the results. (A spokesperson for the Bushes didn’t deny the documents’ authenticity, and said an investigation is underway.)

A hacker using the pseudonym Guccifer seems to have obtained private emails among family members, including details of the senior ex-president’s health troubles; plans for his funeral; a security code for the Bushes’ compound in Kennebunkport; a list of home addresses and mobile phone numbers, and…

… and two astonishing pictures, apparently showing paintings by George W Bush, one showing him naked in the shower, the other of his legs and feet in the bath, with the tap running. The Smoking Gun reports that Bush sent them to his sister, Dorothy Bush Koch; a third photograph shows him at his easel, working on a painting of a church.

There’s always something disorienting about those moments when you’re suddenly reminded that presidents, ex-presidents, prime ministers and others are people, with inner lives and vantage points, who take showers and stare at their feet in the bath. This jolting realisation is all the greater when the leader in question is Bush. We spent years, after all, trying to fathom what was going on in there: nothing much at all? Terrifying messianism? Criminal incuriosity? All manner of Oedipal hang-ups? Pictures of Bush in the bathroom don’t answer that, of course. But like any self-portrait, they inch us towards empathy. They invite us to imagine that being inside Bush’s head is something it’s possible to imagine.

They’re technically shoddy, to be sure. Presumably the word critics would use is “naive”. Look at that impossible reflection in the shower mirror, for starters, or the perspective on the bathtub, which must be the longest and narrowest in existence.

They’re arguably worse than the twee oil paintings of Dwight Eisenhower – the only other president, as far as I’m aware, with a passion for painting. (Hobby-wise, Obama prefers basketball and writing; Clinton favoured the tenor sax; John Quincy Adams swam nude in the Potomac; Richard Nixon enjoyed bowling and unhinged anti-Semitic outbursts.) But there’s something appealing in the quiet straightforwardness of Bush’s work, and in the lack of grandiosity in his choice of subject matter.

I know, I know, it doesn’t and shouldn’t alter history’s judgement on the man. And sending naked pictures of yourself to your sister is … odd. But at least Bush seems to have been introspecting, and cultivating some degree of curiosity about the world around him. Or about his bathroom, anyhow. As an amateur painter, we should avoid misunderestimating him.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.

PinExt Hacked George W Bush paintings help us inch (slightly) towards empathy

FAD NEWS

ART NEWS: Damien Hirst to open a MASSIVE NEW art space in Spring 2015

July 24, 2014

ART NEWS: Damien Hirst  to open a MASSIVE NEW art space in Spring 2015

Damien Hirst’s London art space due to open next spring Situation vacant to oversee artist’s exhibitions and collection

Paul’s ART STUFF on a train # 64: ’28 Years and 1.1’

July 22, 2014

Paul’s ART STUFF on a train # 64: ’28 Years and 1.1’

I recently came across a copy of Art Monthly for July 1986. The magazine doesn’t look so different from the July 2014 issue, and – like that – includes listings of some 200 forthcoming shows….

ART NEWS: Become part of Nick Gentry’s incredible collaborative artwork.

July 21, 2014

ART NEWS: Become part of Nick Gentry’s incredible collaborative artwork.

Get Involved in a new art work from Nick Gentry

WATCH: Ann-Kristin Abel’s: Thought Harvester #PostDigitalWeekend @DegreeArt

July 19, 2014

WATCH: Ann-Kristin Abel’s: Thought Harvester #PostDigitalWeekend @DegreeArt

Thought Harvester by Ann-Kristin Abel The human mind is a thought factory, producing around 70.000 thoughts per day. Due to the complexity of the brain and the importance of our unconscious mind for the creative process we are currently unable to tap the full potential of the human mind. Imagine a device that could physically [...]

PARTY : Broken Fingaz SEX PICNIC 2014 Tonight Friday18th July @omfg_NOWAY

July 18, 2014

PARTY : Broken Fingaz  SEX PICNIC 2014  Tonight Friday18th July @omfg_NOWAY

HAIFA’S PSYCH-POP ART CREW LAUNCH A BRAND NEW EROTIC ZINE

#PostDigitalWeekend This Weekend: Join the Discussion 19-20th July 2014

July 17, 2014

#PostDigitalWeekend This Weekend: Join the Discussion 19-20th July 2014

Join us for #PostDigitalWeekend as @DegreeArt takeover FAD to explore the intersection at which our physical and virtual realities collide.

ART OPENING: Group Show ‘Wanderings’ Thursday 17th July 2014 #DontMiss

July 17, 2014

ART OPENING: Group Show ‘Wanderings’  Thursday 17th July 2014 #DontMiss

An exploration of cultural, municipal and institutional boundaries and correlations, Wanderings documents the varying approaches to city life of a select group of emerging European and Latin American artists.

FAD DAILY

FAD DAILY

To receive daily news on Art Openings, Art Opportunities, Competitions and much more just give us your email below - Its that EASY

ADVERTISING