In February, a hacker named Guccifer revealed to the world the hidden artistic talents of George W. Bush, releasing to The Smoking Gun a handful of photographs of oil paintings by the former president that had been taken from personal Bush family emails. The images were well-received by critics and laypeople alike, but they represented only a small portion of the budding outsider artist’s oeuvre. Little more was being made available: In an interview with an Atlanta television station, his art teacher said he’d painted “over 50 dogs,” tantalizingly few of which were actually shown on the broadcast. Otherwise, the Texan Master was silent. The world was crying out for more Bush art, more raw talent, more lush brushstrokes–more dogs–and nothing was forthcoming.
Six photographs of paintings by the former president, taken from the private email hack originally reported by The Smoking Gun, have been provided to Gawker, where we’re publishing them for the first time.
The new work reveals a wider range of subject matter than previously seen: not just dogs, but also, cats, and shells, and crosses. Nothing as immediately arresting as the nude self-portraits–but the lumpy cats, arranged in landscapes and around plants, and the limbless dogs, trapped in vacuums of varying shades of dun, can be as affecting and revelatory upon meditation as the shower paintings are immediately.
Here, the first cat painting by George W. Bush ever seen by the world (note the bath self-portrait in the bottom of the frame):
Another Bush cat, and a still life of shells:
A nighttime landscape, with a cross in the foreground (this one was titled, by the hacker, “THE.INFAMOUS.WEDDING.NIGHT.WHAT.IS.LAURA.HAS.TO.SAY.ABOUT.THAT”):
Two more of the “over fifty” dogs:
A previously-seen painting of Barney Bush, next to a never-before-seen landscape:
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Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at email@example.com.