Former President George W. Bush made the big reveal on Today on Friday, coerced by veteran NBC correspondent His Daughter: here, at last, are his paintings of world leaders, in a gallery at his presidential library, as they belong.
There's something almost touchingly perfect about George Bush revealing artwork hanging in a gallery in a building that bears his name, walking through it with a reporter who also shares that quality. It's the isolated quiet life of the artist whose fame precedes his talent by a decade or two. And this is not an exaggeration; interviewer Jenna Bush Hager offered a peek into the iPad app that launched the Bush art career. (See stills of early work at right.)
The exhibit at the Bush Presidential Library focuses on the world leaders Bush has painted. Here are the ones that Jenna managed to wrangle a few interesting words from her father about.
Vladimir "Pooty-Poot" Putin
Note: All identified nicknames were also the work of George W. Bush.
For a few people, Bush weighed in on the non-artistic relationship between himself and the leader. Putin and he had a good relationship that "became more tense as time went on." (After an early meeting, Bush said he looked into Putin's eyes and saw his soul, captured in the second image above.) Bush continued:
Vladimir's a person who in many ways views the US as an enemy. And although he wouldn't say that, I felt that he viewed the world as either the US benefits and Russia loses or vice versa. I tried to dispel him of that notion.
What's that? You say this looks like a coloring book image? That's not nice.