Since When Can George W. Bush Actually Paint?

Four years ago, the Romanian hacker known as Guccifer hacked the Bush family’s email accounts and leaked not just their cell phone numbers, but images proving that the former president George W. Bush can kind of, sort of paint. The evidence? Several intimate, apparent self-portraits, which saw the president both lying down in the bathtub and standing up in the shower, not to mention a photograph of Bush intent on painting a church scene inside his sunlit studio, aka a weight room. Now it looks like Bush has been honing his artistic practice over the last few years, if Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tributes to America’s Warriors, published by Penguin Random House, is anything to go by. It marks Bush’s latest output, one Jerry Saltz review and one exposé for having plagiarized Wikipedia later. Maybe it’s the subject—soldiers who’ve served in the U.S. military since 9/11—but Bush finally seems to have hit his painterly stride, as evidenced by a new approach that emphasizes brush strokes, extreme close-ups, and non-local color. Did he take a painting class? Did he call up Anthony Hopkins? Did he decide there’s no better place to atone than on the canvas—or that he simply wanted to be a no. 1 New York Times best seller? Judge for yourself with a look at some of his latest portraits, here.


George W. Bush, “Sergeant Daniel Casara,” U.S. Army, 1994 – 2008.


George W. Bush, “Sergeant First Class Michael R. Rodriguez,” U.S. Army, 1992 – 2013.


George W. Bush, “Sergeant Leslie Zimmerman,” U.S. Army, 2001-2004.


George W. Bush, “Sergeant Michael Joseph Leonard Politowicz,” U.S. Marine Corps, 2010 – Present.


George W. Bush, “Lieutenant Colonel Kent Graham Solheim,” U.S. Army, 1994 – Present.


George W. Bush, “Lance Corporal Timothy John Lang,” U.S. Marine Corps, 2005-2010.


George W. Bush, “Sergeant First Class Ramon Padilla,” U.S. Army, 2000-2009.