Political Art

State-Craft or The Art of Leadership in George W. Bush's Paintings

Photograph from George W. Bush Presidential Center's exhibit on The Art of Leadership

Image Credit: Kim Leeson / George W. Bush Presidential Center

Last year, an adventurous hacker found and leaked pictures of paintings made by former President George W. Bush, including two revealing self-portraits from the shower. Now, the private hobby has been made public by President Bush himself. The George W. Bush Presidential Library, up the road in Dallas, has just opened an exhibit, The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy, which features portraits Bush painted of the world leaders he once encountered as President, paired alongside mementos from his travels and his musings about statecraft. However, what makes these paintings remarkable for viewers?

"Putting the 'Man' in 'Manifest Destiny!'": Making Populist Iconography and Queer Historiography in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Image Credit:  Theatre is Easy

Even though my Rhetoric of the Musical class has finished up, I can’t quit musicals.  When I heard that Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, a musical I’d discovered when I was preparing my class, was moving to Broadway, I decided that it was the perfect karotic moment to tackle this rich topic.  The musical’s Gothic visuals, emo music, and satirical presentation of American politics combine to bring audiences to consider not only American populism but also the act of history making itself.

Introduction: Seeking Logos in Fine Art

Because I seem to be the first non-UT/DWRL blogger on viz., I’ll introduce myself.   I’m Anne Bobroff-Hajal. I'm an artist interested in something rather hard to find: fine art that incorporates clearly-graspable rhetoric.   Art that attempts to integrate the left brain with the right.

Detail of Home Security at Any Crazy Price

Detail of Home Security at Any Crazy Price

So my entries on this blog will be a treasure hunt, searching for artists who have a double goal: to communicate something rational or scientific about the real world in a way that also powerfully moves and/or delights us.   There aren’t many such artists.  John Jones accurately observed  that visual argument tends, “contrary to Aristotle’s advice, [to] foreground the use of pathos and ethos rather than logos.”  I’m searching for those very rare artists from whom I – and maybe others – can learn techniques to balance logos, pathos, and ethos.

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