…the media loves Bush’s paintings. They’re ideal clickbait-kitsch from a boy who would grow into an adorable grandpa, without ever becoming an adult. Bush grins in his painting smock and we laugh. An art exhibit is the benign cherry on his lifetime sundae of fail. Some in the media even wonder if art is therapy for him. Is Bush haunted by what he has done?
I believe Bush paints because Bush can do anything. Every American dream, Bush got—an Ivy League education, running his own sports team, even the presidency. When each dream ended in failure, he grinned and moved on. Bush’s paintings are one more way of turning away from the past, just as he ignored the trail of blood Zaidi left as guards dragged him from the room.
Molly Crabapple for Politico, “George Bush’s Paintings Aren’t Funny”: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/04/george-bushs-paintings-arent-funny-105664.html#.U0y6PeZdVpc
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Molly Crabapple is an artist and writer in New York. She is the author of two books, Drawing Blood and Brothers of the Gun, (with Marwan Hisham). Her reportage has been published in the New York Times, New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of a Yale Poynter Fellowship, a Front Page Award, and shortlisted for a Frontline Print Journalism Award. She is often asked to discuss her work chronicling the conflicts of the 21st Century, and has appeared on All In with Chris Hayes, Amanpour, NPR, BBC News, and more. Her art is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the United States Library of Congress and the New York Historical Society.
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