When I paint my masterpiece

You probably thought that the Parisian salons of La Belle Époque were filled with radical left-wing absinthe-drinking libertines. You lie! They were Tea Party patriots:

The paintings demonstrate a command of line and color that is rarely seen in the modern-day “art” world. Former President George W. Bush appears to be influenced by such painters as Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet. The portraits also clearly capture the personality of their subject.

In fairness, the internets say that Degas was a right-wing nut.

But still…using 19th century French painters to mock the contemporary “art” world and illustrate the genius of Dear Leader W. I wouldn’t have thought they had it in them.

They put images of impressionist paintings on tote bags, not pick-up trucks or semi-automatics. ‘Nuff said.

(h/t reader R)

58 replies
  1. 1
    srv says:

    The man keeps proving his genius, and you nattering nabobs of negativity keep proving your ignorance.

    There are not many men who could eclipse Reagan.

  2. 2
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Free Beacon…? Isn’t that little Matty Continetti? Bill Kristol’s son-in-law who couldn’t explain to Tweety who Neville Chamberlain actually was when he (Matty) was calling Democrats “Neville Chamberlain”?

  3. 3
    Doug Galt says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    He was one of the Neville brothers, right?

  4. 4
    Culture of Truth says:

    The paintings demonstrate a command of line and color that is rarely seen in the modern-day “art” world.

    Oh god. His paintings aren’t terrible for an amateur, but as real art, they are kind of, um, terrible.

  5. 5
    Culture of Truth says:


    “It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.”

  6. 6
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Well, how do we know that Dubya REALLY painted them, huh?

    Perhaps the paintings were part of the loot that Dubya took from Saddam.

  7. 7
    Strandedvandal says:

    Greatest Living President?

  8. 8
    PeakVT says:

    Greatest Living President is Also Fantastic Painter

    The Fried Beacon manages to be wrong three times in a seven word headline. Impressive.

  9. 9
    Mnemosyne says:

    My grandmother took up painting in her old age and became fairly good at it. And, yes, her paintings are influenced by the Impressionists because they’re a famous art movement that adult students are familiar with and like to try and imitate.

    I mean, I like Bush’s painting of Barney and all, but he ain’t no Manet, fer chrissakes.

  10. 10
    c u n d gulag says:

    ‘You call W a painter?
    Hitler.. Now ZERE vas a painter! He could do a whole apartment in vone afternoon – TWO COATS!!!”

    And as much as I hated, and still hate, W, I’m not going to criticize his painting. That was part of a confidential e-mail he sent to his sister, that this hacker got into, and sent out.
    That was for HER eyes, and maybe I’m assuming here, NOT for public display.

    Now, if he sent his paintings to an art gallery for display, I’d feel free to criticize and mock him.

    We all have a right to privacy. I hope that hacker’s caught and receives an appropriate punishment.

    We have several lifetime’s worth of things we can mock W for, his private paintings don’t need need to be one of them.
    Or psychoanalyzed for his paintings, either.

    Even stupid and ignorant sociopaths deserve some level of privacy – as long as they’re not breaking any laws.

    Now, some art critics may find his attempts at painting to be criminal, in the sense of art, but they are not criminal in the sense of breaking any laws.

    Having said all of that, if anyone wants to mock the Varshingtun Fried Bakun for what they wrote, feel free.

    Degas and Manet must be spinning in their graves, to have the idiots at the Frei Bakon compare W’s painting style to theirs.

    It just shows that the morons at the Village Free Nightlight know about as much about art, as they do about politics, history, and government.

  11. 11
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @PeakVT: Greatest Living President is Also Fantastic Painter

    He can paint an entire room, one afternoon, TWO COATS! and a better dresser than Obama, he has a better singing voice! and he’s pulled more weeds than Obama, and he can dance the pants off of Obama.

  12. 12
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Those paintings make me sad.

  13. 13
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @c u n d gulag: Do you keep birds? GMTA.

    and I agree, I don’t much care about Dumbya’s painting, and if I could paint that well, I would. I’ve said here before and I’ll say again, I think the most interesting thing about those emails is Jebbie’s delusion that Poppy, motivated by a Christ-like generosity, rehabilitated Clinton’s reputation. I can’t tell which clan has more and grander delusions about Daddy, the Bushes or the Romneys.

  14. 14
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    For whatever else you can say about Bush (and obviously there’s a lot), I do like the fact that he went away, probably because he knew nobody really wanted him around anymore. Imagine if he was still staggering around the outskirts of politics like Gingrich or Palin, trying to get his gravy train rolling again by sticking his nose into every issue (of course, the fact that he doesn’t want for money has something to do with it.)

    So if he wants to practice painting in old age, good for him. I don’t feel the need to tear into that. The Bacon, on the other hand, is eminently mockable. “Command of line and color” reminds my of something you’d say in a high school art class where the teacher didn’t allow negative criticism and the students didn’t really want to be there in the first place. Of course, here it’s even more hilarious because the Bacon is actively sucking up to someone who doesn’t even know they exist. Guys, if you’re so taken by those paintings you want to buy one, I can give you the names of a few working artists. Ones who can paint better, for that matter.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Greatest Living President is Also Fantastic Painter

    Do you know who else was a fantastic painter?

    An apartment in an afternoon! Two coats!

    /shakes fist at c u n d gulag

  16. 16
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    “Nooooo oooone paints like George Bush,
    ducks and feints like George Bush,
    then pretends to say ‘y’all’, ‘dang’ and ‘ain’t’ like George Bush!”

  17. 17
    dan says:

    Am I going to have to hear about this shit for the next 6 months now? What is up with this guy – Dr. Benjamin Carson; and this? http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....acare.html

  18. 18
    Suffern Ace says:

    @c u n d gulag: yeah. I kind of think any discussions of Bush’s painting hobby ought to be handled under the auspices of an open thread. We’re done with Bush. He’s been keeping a low profile and appears to be retired. I guess people can argue that he ought to be in prison, but five years on, why bother ginning up outrage over the quality of amateur art?

    How bout that Rubio fellow? I hear he throws a mean clay pot. Mean like everything else those republicans do…zing!

  19. 19
    pat says:

    Now if only Darth Cheney would take up painting and keep his disgusting face (and opinions) out of the news.

    Still life with dead something or other would be a good place to start. Maybe Still Life with Human Heart. Shudder.

  20. 20
    SatanicPanic says:

    His art is more successful than his presidency.

  21. 21
    scav says:

    well, even on the supposed right wing front, here’s some competition from Degas.

    and, command of line and color? well, he was in command of that segway too.

  22. 22
    Suffern Ace says:

    @dan: good lord. Now if we can only convince young folks at the beginning of their careers to delay childbirth until their 40s when they might have saved that money for that hospital bill, we’d be onto something.

  23. 23
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    They put images of impressionist paintings on tote bags, not pick-up trucks or semi-automatics. ‘Nuff said.

    You know Doug, this isn’t the first time, but you occasionally get so deep into your code words that I have literally no idea what you’re saying. Can anyone help?

  24. 24
    eemom says:

    Has it in fact been verified that W really did those and it’s not some bit of photoshop hackery? I am quite curious on this point.

  25. 25
    White Trash Liberal says:

    His shower painting reminds me more of a combination of Magritte’s painting of the man staring at the reflection of the back of his own head and Norman Rockwell’s seated self portrait (without eyes). I do see someone struggling with mortality and self-image…

    But command of line and color? Degas and Manet? Once more the proof that proud ignorance is central to American fascism is apparent.

  26. 26
    White Trash Liberal says:

    His shower painting reminds me more of a combination of Magritte’s painting of the man staring at the reflection of the back of his own head and Norman Rockwell’s seated self portrait (without eyes). I do see someone struggling with mortality and self-image…

    But command of line and color? Degas and Manet? Once more the proof that proud ignorance is central to American fascism is apparent.

  27. 27
    Booger says:

    @Snooki: The kerning is all wrong!

  28. 28
    Schlemizel says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Not terrible? Criminelly! My grandmother took up painting at about the same age as boy blunder and we still proudly display several of her works. There is one she did on the beach in N. California that has one of the best representations of a wave you will ever see with the light shining through the green water and foam crowning the top. Her worst painting makes that sludge look like something that belongs on moms fridge.

    Its shit, even for an amateur.

  29. 29
    White Trash Liberal says:

    I would also like to add that there is something curious with his bath painting’s opacity. In both paintings nudity is apparent, but concealed. It’s as if there are thoughts and feelings that no amount of water can clean… Hmmm

  30. 30
    DPS says:

    I love that the last sentence in that article is “Winston Churchill also painted,” as if that just sealed the whole thing up and there was nothing else to say.

    It almost feels cruel to point out that Hitler was a painter, too.

  31. 31
    Jay C says:

    Actually, I think former President Bush’s paintings have a sort of, ummm, quality about them that would qualify them for inclusion in a museum collection!

    In fact, there’s a relevant institution already in existence where Dubya’s artworks would fit right in…

  32. 32
    scav says:

    GWB: lauded as good as a cheese-eating paintbrush-weilding surrender monkey by his own team.

  33. 33
    Doug Galt says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Real Murkins like Norman Rockwell and Thomas Kinkade not guys with accents over the letters in their names.

  34. 34
    MattF says:

    Well, look. Maybe W. has finally grown up and figured out what he wants to do. I’m comfortable with that. But… sweet mother of FSM, not the greatest living President. Nope.

  35. 35
    RSA says:

    My first reaction was that Bush was trying to update the Rokeby Venus with one of his paintings. The nude subject; the view from behind, with the subject looking away from the viewer; the mirror capturing the face, though in a physically impossible way. And then I thought, “But this is George W. Bush we’re talking about…”

  36. 36
    j says:

    Degas & Manet?… sound French.

    W is a weak, cheese eating surrender monkey!

    And he lurves his quiche and souffle.


    He must be gay.

    A cheese eating surrender monkey who paints.

    Yeah, that’s really “macho”. But, then again, the little drunk could never master the bicycle, either.

  37. 37
    Mike in NC says:

    The painting of Dubya in the bathtub could have been improved by adding a toaster or hair dryer.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Redshirt says:

    I’d pay 300 bucks for a Bush. Gladly! I’d be so hipster ironic hanging one of those in my “den”.

  40. 40
    wasabi gasp says:

    He’s a dirty man and he knows it.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:


    I Googled up some Winston Churchill paintings. There’s a reason he’s better-known for politics.


    Bush tries to pretend to be a shit-kickin’ Texan, but he’s really an upper-class East Coast elitist who went to prep school before enrolling in Yale. So it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he’s familiar with the painting.

  42. 42
    Just One More Canuck says:

    I hate to link a discussion of GWB with such a great song and band, but here you go


  43. 43
    Fred says:

    No it’s not good for an amature. These things really do suck.
    When I read the set up I expected to be pleasantly surprised but alas Little George’s artistic efforts are on par with…well they reflect his true depth and sensativity.
    Interestingly the face in the mirror is a good likeness so he does show talent. But talent without work and dedication is useless and we all know about Little George’s feelings concerning sticking to it.

  44. 44
    Donut says:

    @eemom: @Snarki, child of Loki:

    OMG. What is this? Painting Dubya Truthers?

    I’m already on the fuckin phone to Orly fuckin Taitz.

    Show me the stained brushes and splattered shoes?

  45. 45
  46. 46
    PIGL says:

    @Schlemizel: and even so, if that were true, the man does not deserve to be mocked for it. It’s not like he were Satan Himself, the Father of Lies, All of Whose Works Must be Condemnèd. I never thought I’d see the day where I’d defend GWB for anything, but lands sakes people, let’s save the criticism for the actual murders and wars and criminal negligence. You should see the pile on at GOS. It is almost as if we can’t bear to be reminded that Bush, and by extension GOPers, tea daddies and oligarchs, are also humans.

  47. 47
    g says:

    It’s hilarious that they’re favorably comparing the Impressionists to modern artists, since in their day, the Impressionists were considered scandalous and indecent and the ruin of Art, in the same vein Conservatives hate Serrano and Chris Ofili. “Command of line and color” my ass – Ruskin called Whistler a “coxcomb…flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face.”

  48. 48
    g says:

    @Mike in NC: The painting of Dubya in the bathtub could have been improved by adding a toaster or hair dryer.

    i think it could have used a little red, like Delacroix’s “Marat in the Bath.”

  49. 49
    hells littlest angel says:

    @Mike in NC: Thank you for a real belly laugh.

  50. 50
    PIGL says:

    @g: brilliant.

    And notice, people, this was constructive criticism, not brutish mockery.

  51. 51
    Schlemizel says:

    15 years too late sadly

  52. 52
    Librarian says:

    It’s a shame that Robert Hughes is dead, because it would have been interesting to hear what he thought about the paintings.

  53. 53
    mai naem says:

    I had forgotten Hitler was a painter before becoming a monster. Anyway, he seems to have been a halfway decent painter –

    I guess he didn’t win some kind of award that would have allowed him to continue to paint and make a living at it.

  54. 54
    Sondra says:

    @Culture of Truth:
    He paints as well as he governed…badly. Unless you think 2 uneven boobs on his back is somehow good.

  55. 55
    Nancy Irving says:

    Actually I like the shower painting. As a composition it’s pretty good, and you’ll notice that the face actually resembles W. Catching a resemblance is not such an easy thing for an amateur painter.

    Also it’s strange in the way good outsider art is strange.

    But he was a lousy, lousy president.

  56. 56
    Mike G says:

    Interesting that W portrays himself in the shower and the bath. Like he’s trying to metaphorically get himself clean. I know the country is still trying to rid the stench of his 8 years in office.

  57. 57
    Paul in KY says:

    @SatanicPanic: Agree totally!

  58. 58
    mickey g says:

    “The paintings demonstrate a command of line and color that is rarely seen in the modern-day “art” world”

    …or a PTA conference.

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