George Bush takes on Blair, Berlusconi and Putin: Ex-President's portraits of world leaders go on show
67-year-old has moved on from painting just Texas landscapes and chocolate-box renditions of his dogs
When George Bush left the White House in January 2009 he vowed to stay out of the way of his successor, Barack Obama. But who knew he would take retirement so far? Did he set up a foundation to solve world poverty or end regional conflicts? No. As we have known for a while, he took up painting.
Yet nostalgia for the old days of running the world’s sole superpower apparently exerted itself on the former President even as he took up the brush and palate. Instead of limiting himself to Texas landscapes and chocolate-box renditions of his dogs, Mr Bush, 67, has been busy painting former and current world leaders.
On Friday, at his presidential library near his home in Dallas, an entire exhibition was unveiled, featuring a parade of former jousting partners under the title: “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy”.
Staring down at visitors to the library are 24 familiar faces, including Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair, the Dalai Lama and his father George H W Bush.
“I think they’re going to [say]: ‘Wow. George Bush is a painter’,” he offered in an interview on NBC with his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager.
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