If you turned on the Today show on April 4th you may have been perplexed to find George W. Bush being interviewed by his own daughter, inside his own library, about his new exhibition of oil paintings. The show is called The Art of Leadership and features oil paintings of various world leaders. Upon hearing the news, I found myself struck, once again, by the unique mixture of anger, bewilderment, frustration, and disturbing fascination that only W seems to elicit.
One of the best things I read about all of this was a piece by Greg Allen called “Art of the Bush School.” Greg has been writing about art on his blog Greg.org since 2001, and he says that there are some important things about these Bush paintings that are being left out of the conversation. Greg wonders: “When art actually is out there in the media … and functioning in this really depressing way, how do we deal with that as people who care about art?”
This week on the podcast, I talk with Greg about the “art of the torture and terrorism school.”
Also, if you’re interested in some work that examines the Bush years and the War on Terror, have a listen back to my interviews with Edmund Clark and Kristine Potter whose photographs look at Guantanamo Bay and the lives of young American soldiers.
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