By now, surely you’ve seen George W. Bush’s strange, bathroom-centric self-portraits that were leaked by The Smoking Gun last week. (This is why we should all fear hackers, never become famous, and never send anything even remotely embarrassing over email.)
Michael Weiss, an associate dean at MICA, gave his expert opinion of the paintings to the Huffington Post: “It looks like a very naive approach to painting.” Ouch. But Weiss also was generous enough to point out that it’s difficult to judge work from looking at a digital image.
And perhaps the paintings’ naivite isn’t a bad thing; Weiss was struck by the surreal way perspective functions in the shower painting. “It’s much more curious because it puts you in the position of a voyeur from this reflection, but the reflection is not pointed in a direct way,” he said. “They’re really funny paintings. It’s a really different picture of the guy.”
The Huffpo also notes that Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum, an institution focusing on outsider art, “declined to comment on Bush’s outsider art-cred,” citing the fact that the paintings were stolen from his private communications.