8 Of George W. Bush's Finest Paintings

by Lulu Chang

Taking over the family business adopts a whole new meaning when the business is the United States of America. But in the Bush family, this doesn't seem to be a problem. Between George, George and Jeb, the Bush's are on their way to becoming the longest political tradition in America, and in honor of the man who started it all, George W. Bush has unveiled a new book entitled 41, a biography of his father. According to the New York Times, Bush's publication is "short on factual revelations and long on emotion," and is an intimate account of one of the most interesting father-son relationships of our time. But more intimate still may be Bush 43's latest portrait of his father.

Since leaving the presidency in 2008, George Junior has adopted a new hobby that doesn't involve invading foreign countries, but rather concerns itself with some more, shall we say, introspective exercises. With the stresses of the highest office in the land, it seems that the younger Bush was unable to truly express his creative side, but now in the glorious days of presidential retirement, our esteemed leader has truly found his calling, which he only reemphasized today with the unveiling of his latest work of art — a dual portrait of himself and his father.

In typical Bush 43 fashion, his written portrait of his father had to be accompanied with a more literal interpretation of the word, and as such, the former president has graced us with yet another one of his works. He is no Da Vinci, I daresay, but seeing the evolution of Bush's artwork has been quite the journey, and is one that I'd like to embark upon once again with you, my friends. So here, in no particular order, is an artistic exploration of George W. Bush by way of his portraiture.

Vladimir Putin

This is one of my all-time favorite Bush works, and I am willing to call it his pièce de résistance. There is something haunting about Putin's slightly lopsided eyes that conveys a depth of emotion generally not seen from the Russian president. It is almost as though Putin is staring into the depths of my soul with this piece, and I have never been able to tell if his lips are slightly turned up in a smirk or slightly turned down in a scowl. But such is the beauty of art.

Hamid Karzai

The symbolism of this piece is intensely powerful, even if Bush did lift his inspiration directly from Google — seriously, who doesn't these days? The dark circles under his eyes, which Bush seems to pay particular attention to, convey a sense of turmoil and uncertainty that has indeed characterized Afghani and Middle Eastern politics since, you know, Bush started those wars.

Shower selfie

President Bush turned the selfie into a classy, artistic endeavor with this masterpiece, in which his face is magically reflected in a mirror even though he's not looking into it. Also unclear, and perhaps symbolically relevant, is why Bush seems to be standing outside the water's trajectory, making for a rather unproductive shower.


I'll be honest — this may be the most perplexing work in Bush's canon for me. Why anyone would choose to rim their bathtub with the color of mold is beyond me. But would you check out the translucent effect Bush creates with the painted water!?

Jay Leno

My God, the resemblance is truly uncanny. You see, the true sign of Bush's artistic prowess is his ability to paint a variety of face types, chief among which is the outlandishly large countenance of everyone's favorite late night television host. This may be one of the few portraits in which Bush portrays his subject smiling — apparently, politicians (his normal muses) are a sad, sad bunch.


In all seriousness, one of his first, and probably one of his best. Bush's dedication to Barney was legendary in the White House, and once, he even neglected to salute a marine because he was too busy carrying his dog. Carrying a dog is a better excuse than carrying a coffee cup, however, so Bush was forgiven while Obama was all but crucified for his mistake.


Ok look, I'm just going to say it. This doesn't really look like him. He looks a little offended that his portrait is being done, possibly because it is being done by himself.

(Shocked) Manmohan Singh

Is there a reason so many of his portraits seem to depict leaders who look positively surprised to be in the frame? In the original Google images version of former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he looks much more relaxed and much less taken aback. But like politics, art is a learning process. And it seems that Bush is in it for the long haul.

Images: The Bush Center/Flickr; iamhacker, JasonWellsM, BillWeirCNN, lynnerussnews1, VICE, csmonitor/Twitter