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.

FAD NEWS

{VIDEO}: Ai Weiwei stars in secret crowdfunded sci-fi flick

April 17, 2014

{VIDEO}: Ai Weiwei stars in secret crowdfunded sci-fi flick

Sand Storm by filmmaker Jason Wishnow, imagines a not-so distant apocalyptic future, with Ai WeiWei starring as a water smuggler in a world where water is scarce. The short film was made in China over the course of the year, all while trying to keep the production under wraps and away from the attention of government officials.

NY Art News: Christie’s to offer a previously unseen masterwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat

April 16, 2014

NY Art News: Christie’s to offer a previously unseen masterwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat

On May 13th, Christie’s Evening Auction of Post-War & Contemporary Art will present a major painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

ART NEWS: Jeremy Deller and eight high profile artists join together for new show to highlight plight of species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species TM

April 16, 2014

ART NEWS: Jeremy Deller and eight high profile artists join together for new show to highlight plight of species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species TM

Synchronicity Earth – a London-based charity that funds and seeks investment in the most important conservation initiatives globally – is hosting a programme of events throughout the year to mark the IUCN’s Red List’s 50th anniversary.

ARTNEWS: Lucy Clout has won the Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Award

April 16, 2014

ARTNEWS: Lucy Clout has won the Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Award

Lucy Clout has won the Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Award

Paul’s ART STUFF on a train # 50: ‘Volcano in the Garden’

April 16, 2014

Paul’s ART STUFF on a train # 50: ‘Volcano in the Garden’

One door closes another door opens… Although a number of meritorious small galleries have closed recently, there’s a new trend towards auction houses putting on curated exhibitions of selling art as if, in effect, they’re commercial galleries who don’t represent artists.

ART/TECH: Shapeshifting Furniture from MIT

April 15, 2014

ART/TECH:  Shapeshifting Furniture from MIT

Cool Furniture that transforms based on its reaction to Nature …

ARTIST OPPORTUNITY: The WW SOLO Award 2014

April 14, 2014

ARTIST OPPORTUNITY: The WW SOLO Award 2014

The WW SOLO Award is an annual structured opportunity, created to provide support, development and exposure for a contemporary artist of any age, working in any medium.

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