George W. Bush’s New Immigrant Paintings Show His True Colors

 

“There’s Always Something I Could Do To Improve…” 

George W Bush Paints

 

2020 is an appropriate year to indulge in hindsight. I must admit now, when looking back, I got played.

I profoundly misunderestimated the true intentions and agenda of a man I once respected. I suspect I was not alone in buying into the delusion. We all can’t blame ourselves too much for being fooled. We were up against a massive psyop of enormous subtlety and resources, and the alternatives we had presented at the time were outright monstrous.

No, the only way we could be at fault would be to deny the reality of what we underwent, now that it’s been revealed.

I now thoroughly distrust George W. Bush. Not for the same reasons that the deranged Leftists who loved to hate him during his presidency did. They were fooled too. They shouldn’t have been melting down over this guy, they should have been celebrating him.

I distrust W because, in many important ways, he advanced Anti-American globalist interests, carrying on his father’s work. In this, Bush was on the same side as the Leftists all along.

W was taking an active part in the same Postmodern schemes that have brought Western Civilization to the brink of collapse. Bush was both controlled and colluding “opposition,” enabling the illusion of choice in the direction of our Republic. He invoked the authentic goodness and power of the USA, and used that as cover while he and all his Uniparty political cronies continued to arrange for our destruction.

It’s hard to reconcile this with my long term impressions of George W Bush, of a flawed but ultimately decent man in a very difficult role. I believed he loved America. Could he really be that good of an actor? Or has he just been able to persuade himself of the inevitability of the totalitarian cabal’s domination, and he was trying to manage our decline as gently as possible?

As we continue to undergo the illuminating unmaskings of the Trump era, Bush has exposed himself. The motivations of all his actions and inactions, his talking points and silences, all need to be examined in a new light. We see what he is willing to do, and who he is really aligned with.

 

It’s a Big Club, and We Ain’t In It 

Now, in another sad move, George W Bush is taking his sincerely felt art, and applying it as a backhanded propaganda ploy.

I’d written before on Bush’s paintings of veterans he’s come to know. In his interviews regarding the book, Bush described his authentic engagement with painting, speaking a language that I recognized through my own experiences as an intuitive painter:

“The thing about painting is you never finish a painting. I mean, there’s always something, at least in my case, there’s always something I could do to improve, and so at some point in time, you had to have the discipline to say I’m moving onto another portrait.”

“…I don’t think the quest to develop a style that you can express yourself as fully as you want ever ends.”

Bush has a new book coming out now. Given the moment we find ourselves in, I believe this offering does capture Bush’s true style: Take something positive, and give the appearance of revering it, while simultaneously delivering a Deep State Parseltongue-bath twist which taints the whole enterprise.

Bush’s latest book is Out of Many, One. He evokes the motto of the United States to present 43 portraits of immigrants. So far so good. The melting pot was the traditional American immigrant experience. These immigrants loved the idea of freedom so much, they worked hard on a difficult process to come to our nation of laws. They left their old lives behind to start again, taking on all the risks and benefits of liberty; it is the essence of the American dream. Those are exactly the kind of people we should be welcome here.

As I state in my 2018 book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

We are the only country ever founded on the idea that the people tell the government what to do, and not the other way around. We are the only country that acknowledges our rights and equality come from God, and are not granted to us by any earthly authority.

American is not a race, or an ethnicity, or a class. American is a set of principles, and appreciation for the opportunities those principles provide. That’s why the United States was called a melting pot for so long: despite all of our varied origins and circumstances, America gives a fresh start. We were forming a new civilization together, making many into a new dynamic Unum, the likes of which the world had never seen.

The world didn’t like this.

But Out of Many, One, being by George W Bush, we have to scrape off the appearances and get to the implied implications. After all, W’s beholden to that world that hates the USA so much, and he’s doing his part against us.

Our Postmodern administrative class fractured the Melting Pot long ago. Arrivals are no longer encouraged to unify as part of our great national efforts. Now they are encouraged to hyphenate and separate, and above all, to despise the very land which has offered its hospitality. Look no further than the growing Mogadishu in Minneapolis for the results of those efforts. You can take the war lords out of the ruins, but you can’t take the ruin out of the war lords.

Another pose struck here is the relentless conflation of immigration with illegal invasion. “Act of love,” droned the feckless Bush brother Jeb! Wrong. Illegal immigrants by definition have blown their side of the deal right off the bat, by disregarding the same system of laws that made our country thrive. You can’t cheat your way into being an American. Yet the elites lump the criminals in with the promising citizens, and accuse anyone who knows the difference of being a racist.

This, of course, segues right in the real point of George Bush’s book: Orangemanbad, and you’re bad too, if you support him. End of story.

Sorry George W Bush, I’m not buying your propaganda any more. I’m sorry that I now have to look at your paintings knowing what you’ve done, and why.

I’m much more interested in another tale: just what was in that envelope you received in the National Cathedral?

 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

Update: Welcome Instapundit readers! Please visit other articles for more commentary on the state of the arts. 

MEMORIALS: On the Veteran Portraits of George W. Bush

George W. Bush “Sergeant Daniel Casara

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Last March, one morning on the way to work I was fortunate to hear on the radio an interview conducted by Hugh Hewitt. Although he’s often profundly off base on his analysis of events, Hewitt has interesting guests. On this program he was speaking with former President George W. Bush, about a subject I find endlessly fascinating: painting.

George W. Bush’s book of paintings “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to American Warriors” is a major best seller. It’s currently number one in many of the Art categories on Amazon, a reflection of people’s desire to support our veterans. However, it also reflects a positive response to a surprising development for our retired 43rd President –  his unsuspected creative talents.

Mr. Bush is characteristically humble about his work. He plainly states in the forward of his book he is an amateur: “I’m not sure how the art in this book will hold up to critical eyes. After all, I’m a novice. What I am sure of is that each painting was done with care and respect.”

I always say in real painting there is nowhere for the artist to hide; those reverent emotions towards the veterans the former President depicted are present in his paintings.

It’s an interesting story how Bush came to his art. “I had been an art-agnostic all my life,” he admits. However, as he was leaving office, he became intrigued by the dedication to painting shown by Winston Churchill. Inspired by Churchill’s essay “Painting as a Pastime,” Bush started working with a series of instructors to learn the craft. To his first teacher he stated: “‘Gail, there’s a Rembrandt trapped in this body…Your job is to liberate him.'” He was 66 years old.

The world was surprised in 2013 when hacker Guccifer revealed emails connected to the Bushes had been compromised. Unlike recent leaked Democrat emails, these messages were not full of dirty tricks, backstabbing, and fawning communications from reporters. However, the hacked accounts did expose George Bush paintings, including two sly self portraits in the shower and bath.

bush paintings

Out of the painting closet now, Bush started sharing his new passion openly. He disclosed he had painted pets and landscapes. At the advice of one of his teachers, Bush embarked on a series on world leaders he knew, including his own father:

George W. Bush “The Dalai Lama”

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George W. Bush “Hamid Karzai

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George W. Bush “George H.W. Bush”

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The real focus of Bush’s post-presidency has been supporting wounded veterans.  Through the Bush Center Military Service Initiative, post 9-11 veterans and their families gain assistance transitioning back to civilian life. It was natural Bush’s two great interests came together. “Portraits in Courage” shows paintings of some of the veterans Bush has come to know. Proceeds from the books sales are going to support the Bush Center’s programs.

George W. Bush “Sergeant Major Christopher Self”

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In addition to painting the veterans’ portraits from photographs, Bush tells their stories as well. He describes why they joined the military, how they served, how they were wounded in the line of duty. He then shares the triumphs and challenges each faced during recovery, and how he met them during his presidency and Bush Center events. These stories are not sugar coated; they acknowledge the true difficulties involved. But the overarching theme is inspirational, as the veterans speak of their determination and pride to be part of the United States Military.

There is much discussion about the gap between the experiences of the armed services and civilians. “But that civilian-military divide, I think Portraits of Courage may help bridge that by giving people glimpses into their lives, not just the painting,” Bush says; “… the stories are more important than the paintings.”

A notable example of these differences are attitudes about George W. Bush himself. While the civilian population,  agitated  by a relentlessly hostile media, turned very negative towards Bush during his presidency, he was always well regarded by the troops who served under him. As recently as 2014, 65%  of post 9-11 veterans stated Bush was a good commander in chief.

George W. Bush “Staff Sergeant Jack Schumacher,Sergeant William J. Ganem”  

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Time has been good to the reputation of Bush, perhaps because the current White House occupant is the subject of persistent histrionic Establishment meltdowns. Now partisan media types think it’s okay to make some positive comments about Bush, while still pouring on the typical gallons of bile and venom. Even cultural critic hacks have been cautiously laudatory. “The quality of the art is astonishingly high,” the New Yorker mentions in their column of recycled insults. “An evocative and surprisingly adept artist who has dramatically improved his technique,” The New York Times grudgingly admits during their litany of blame. Fake news CNN headlined their 2014 article that Bush’s paintings show “his softer side.”

Filtering out the ideology, I agree with the critics. As a painter, I recognize the work that went into his paintings, the ongoing series of judgments needed to reimagine the dimensions of life onto a flat canvas. Bush seems to have developed the instinct for applying paint so that it communicates. The works are full of personality, mood, and incorporate real moments of finesse. Other more awkward passages just enhance their expressive power. As noted by the co-founders of both the Stuckism and Remodernism art movements, amateurs willing to take chances, to reveal their own shortcomings, are the ones who push us forward:

The Stuckist is not a career artist but rather an amateur (amare, Latin, to love) who takes risks on the canvas rather than hiding behind ready-made objects (e.g. a dead sheep). The amateur, far from being second to the professional, is at the forefront of experimentation, unencumbered by the need to be seen as infallible. Leaps of human endeavour are made by the intrepid individual, because he/she does not have to protect their status. Unlike the professional, the Stuckist is not afraid to fail.

-Billy Childish and Charles Thomson, The Stuckist Manifesto

In that previously mentioned Hewitt interview, it was exciting to hear former President Bush speak in terms I could relate to as an intuitive artist. It’s worth reviewing some of the words he used that showed me here was a fellow artist, working to coordinate his hand, eye, mind and heart, to share his vision of life and his connections to humanity.

George W. Bush Quotes About Painting

“The thing about painting is you never finish a painting. I mean, there’s always something, at least in my case, there’s always something I could do to improve, and so at some point in time, you had to have the discipline to say I’m moving onto another portrait.”

“A really good artist came to my studio with my instructor, and he said you know, I think you can paint. You ought to try to paint the world leaders with whom you served. And it was such an uplifting statement, because what he was saying was seek new heights. Try something different.”

“First of all, the painting has got a lot of paint on it. And, which I think conveys a sense of confidence in painting. The first ones I painted, the world leaders, it was real tight brush strokes. You know, I was trying to get it exact. And these are much looser. I think it’s a tribute to my instructors, and a tribute to time at easel.”

“…I don’t think the quest to develop a style that you can express yourself as fully as you want ever ends.”

“…painting is ahead of me for sure. It’s one of the great learning experiences, Hugh. It’s, you know, I think about it all the time. When I get back this weekend, I’ll paint. And I’m looking for a new project.”

George W. Bush in the studio

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers! Please visit other entries for more commentary on the state of the arts.