Overanalyzing George W. Bush’s Painting of Himself Taking a Shower

A hacker named Guccifer has stolen three years of e-mails and photos from six e-mail accounts belonging to Bushes or friends of Bushes, the Smoking Gun is reporting. The trove includes some very private discussions of funeral and eulogy preparations for the ailing George H. W. Bush, which is awful, and we won’t repeat them here, because that’s beneath us. That being said, there is also a photo of a painting that George W. Bush made of himself taking a shower, which we will now discuss in depth.

First of all, in this writer’s amateur opinion, it’s not bad! Bear in mind, Bush appears to have picked up painting fairly recently — the hobby was first reported in Joe Hagan’s profile of the Bushes in New York last October. Hagan reported that Bush had been focusing mainly on “portraits of dogs and arid Texas landscapes.” Apparently, those very boring-sounding subjects got a little boring.

More impressive than the painting’s aesthetic quality is the soul-searching introspection evident in the scene. Bush, slightly hunched, is standing out of the water, staring off into the corner of the shower, as if contemplating past sins that can never be washed away, no matter how much soap you use and how hard you scrub. His disembodied face appears in the shaving mirror, looking back at Bush through an impossible angle, like a haunting apparition. You can’t hide from yourself, the face is saying. You can’t hide from God.

George W. Bush’s Shower Self-Portrait