Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 8, 2014 / 8 Nissan, 5774

Boiling a rival in an artist's oil

By Wesley Pruden




JewishWorldReview.com | George W. Bush has been called a lot of unkind things, and now this: Who knew Picasso dwelled within the 43rd president of the United States?

The president whose troops nailed Saddam Hussein has joined Vladimir Putin, U.S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and Winston Churchill as heads of state with a credible claim to master of brush and palette.

Mr. Putin, who like George W. dabbles in painting dogs, once "managed" the sale of one of his paintings to a Russian oligarch for more than $1 million dollars. Jimmy Carter sold an original oil for $250,000 at a charity auction. "Managing" such sales sounds about right.

When a newspaper critic once asked Ike about the "symbolism" in his paintings, the conductor of D-Day and the Allied dash across Europe scowled and replied with a hint of contempt: "Let's get something straight. They would have burned this [stuff] a long time ago if I weren't the president of the United States."

But George W.'s "stuff" is better than that. Some critics are saying so, taking pains to repeat the snark and splutter about the man whose shock and awe in Iraq and Afghanistan still makes certain liberals and "progressives" wet their pants.

"Oh, my G0D," writes Jerry Saltz, art critic for New York magazine. "Pigs fly: I like something about George W. Bush. A lot. After spending more than a decade having almost physiological-chemical reactions anytime I saw him, getting the heebie-jeebies whenever he spoke ... I really like the paintings of George W. Bush."

Some of the portraits of world leaders he painted have gone on display at his presidential library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and they're pretty good. They show insight and a penetrative understanding of the subjects. His portrait of Vladimir Putin, which is particularly incisive, accents the cold eyes and merciless countenance of the old KGB agent he once was. It's as though the artist looked into the space where he expected to find the man's soul, and this time found only space.

Alistair Sooke of London's Daily Telegraph observes that the portrait of Mr. Putin, "who has been given a grimacing, squished muzzle and prominent rodent ears, [is set] against a purple background. There is something unconventional and compelling about this image."

George W. 's work has even been assigned to an artistic category, suggesting that he has arrived, though no one is yet sure just where. "The paintings," says The Daily Telegraph critic, "exhibit many of the hallmarks of so-called 'outsider art' - which, as visitors to last summer's Venice Biennale will know, is very modish at the moment within the world of contemporary art." (Well, yes, of course. We knew that.) He paints like he talks, "folksy, homespun, plain-speaking, with just enough ham-fisted strangeness and bungling missteps to keep things interesting." This is how art critics write, but on the whole it's a positive review, if not quite admiring.

Mr. Bush, unlike some former presidents, avoids brash political statements. He understands, as some former presidents do not, that his political insights are regarded as curiosities, with no particular weight. So his insights in oil are personal, not political, and more interesting for it.

He says the portraits were painted in a "spirit of friendship," though some of his personal observations have the sharp edge that only a "former" feels unbound to say. "Vladimir is a person who in many ways views the U.S. as an enemy, although he wouldn't say that."

George W. is still smarting from the Russian president's remarks about his beloved Scottish terrier, Barney. When Mr. Putin saw Barney at the White House, he waved him away with a snarl. "You call that a dog?" George W. later met the Putin dog, and describes it as a large, muscular hound. "Anybody who thinks 'my dog is bigger than your dog' is an interesting character."

George W. has a few tips for aspiring painters. Painting world leaders is easy. Painting a wife or mother might not be. "Don't paint your wife," he says. He's proudest of the portrait of his father. "It was a joyful experience to paint him, a gentle soul," he told his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, the interviewer for NBC's "Today."

He was particularly reluctant to show his mother, Barbara Bush, that portrait. When he finally did, his mother asked, with maternal condescension: "That's my husband?" She wasn't thrilled to be on television, either. When the interview was over, she asked: "This is it? I got up at 4:30 in the morning for this?"

Wesley Pruden Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


© 2014 Wesley Pruden

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast