From Air Bud to Jesus: The 5 Inspirations for George W. Bush's Latest Batch of Paintings
The pseudointellectual parsings of Dubya's most recent batch of hacked paintings are dumb. The screengrabs, the half-finished backings, the skewed perspectives -- all of these paintings' realities illustrate that Bush remains a novice, whose talent, while extant, still needs progress before he can convey whatever's truly happening in his Iraq-addled mind. The promise is there, but the quality still lacks. Let's leave all armchair analysis aside.
You've left the water running, Mr. President.
Still, while we all look at the paintings with some brew of chagrin and confusion -- the ache in his topless, thousand-yard shower scene is as palpable as the economic crater he left behind -- we can also see where Bush may have reached to for inspiration. Leaving Cheney and Rove and Rummy to influence his horrific policy decisions, Bush seems to have reached out to other sources to influence the subjects and styles of his paintings.
Again, while this is all reading the tea leaves, Hair Balls wanted to share five theories as to where Dubya may have looked for aesthetic inspiration. Because, hey, who knows -- it's entirely possible Bush spent most of his days in the White House examining different strains of artistic history. Guy certainly wasn't studying up on much else.
5. Ansel Adams
Bush, who so effectively crafted a facetious image as a Western boot-strapper, is almost certainly familiar with the most seminal photographer of the American West. Capturing the austere majesty of the Montana Rockies and Alaskan plains, hooking a generation of Americans to Yellowstone's blisteringly beautiful scenery, Adams helped paint the romanticism of an untamable, unassailed West. And while Bush's attempts at cañons and West Texas outcroppings may fall a bit short of Adams's eye, it's clear that some of that wild freedom -- the kind of imagery that, from a distance, looks serene (a bird's-eye view of Afghanistan, if you will) -- has stuck.
4. The California Raisins
There are few more ad campaigns as affable and beloved as Will Vinton's California Raisins, who serenaded American audiences into improving their fiber intake. While these Raisins have dried up -- there's only so much of a market remaining for stop-motion animation, unfortunately -- it appears that Bush has found a resonance with the pruney products. True, Bush's finest attempt consisted of grapes, but there's a certain parallel, a certain harkening, to the transition from Dubya's earliest days as the good-ol' guv to, a dozen years on, a shrunken, shriveled shell, hoping that those observing, and those who still care, can still see some of that affability shine through.