Two more paintings by former President George W. Bush were revealed this afternoon, putting us closer to having a fuller picture of the artist's output and habits, while providing further evidence for the theory that Bush sees himself in his canine subjects.
Someone known only as Guccifer hacked into Bush's email account and has been steadily releasing photos of the president's paintings since Feburary. One depicts two dogs lounging on a patch of green grass together, and the other a cat lazily dangling its limbs over the edge of what looks to be a fridge. This is Bush's third recorded cat picture, and Gawker's Max Read, who has been the source of many Bush paintings, thinks it could signal a shift in the artist's focus towards feline subjects. "May the cat period be as fruitful, as breathtaking, as charged with energy as the 'over 50 dogs,'" Read says, referring to the number of alleged Bush dog paintings in existence.
But the new painting of the two dogs is more telling, we'd argue. The Atlantic Wire has made the case that Bush paints so many dogs because he, in fact, represents his thoughts, feelings and insecurities through the dogs he puts to canvas. His latest offering shows two dogs sitting on some grass; one looking bright-eyed and directly at the observer, the other diverting its gaze in shame. These two dogs represent the duality of Bush's modern day identity: the happy-go-lucky, eager to please retiree putting on a straight face for the cameras, and the sad, shameful former president who knows how poorly he performed in office. That burden is massive, and would be a hard one to shake.
The cat, meanwhile, represents the person Bush wants to become. Bush is enjoying life and therapy though art so that some day he will become the care-free, bored, content feline always in arms length of some ice cream. A unified identity at peace with its former lives.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.