Main | Saturday, April 05, 2014

Duyba's Paintings Go On Exhibit

The Guardian eviscerates the paintings of former President George W. Bush in a review headlined The Art Of Forrest Gump:
Americans do tend to be forgiving of their more controversial presidents. This generosity is surely born of national self-regard. If you see the presidency as peopled by monsters how can you love your country? So like Nixon before him, Dubya is getting reassessed, or at least repackaged, his martial presidency forgotten in America's cosy reception of his cute paintings, unveiled in a television interview with his own daughter.

It's like being nice about the family idiot's latest art project. Aw, isn't that sweet, poor George has done paintings of world leaders. He's putting them in his little museum. The soppiness is unmitigated: early online reactions blathered moist-eyed about him capturing Vladimir Putin's "soul". His portrait of Putin actually looks like something you would find in one of America's trash-rich Salvation Army stores and buy to laugh at. It's got a classic amateur clumsiness and oddity to it.

Idiocy in art has its charms. In the man who ran the free world into bloodstained buffers, those charms quickly sour. These empty headed daubs look the work of someone you wouldn't trust to mow a lawn without cutting someone's foot off. Winston Churchill also took up art as a hobby and even won respect as a serious painter – the art historian EH Gombrich compared him with Constable. But there was every reason to be kind to Churchill the painter. He had earned his pleasures.

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