The artist known as ‘43’

Updated
President Barack Obama stands with former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the George W. Bush...
President Barack Obama stands with former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the George W. Bush...
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

The five living presidents came together Thursday for the dedication of the George W.  Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas.  George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and President Obama reflected on the positive message of W’s year’s in office.  Then, it was time for Bubba to speak.

In true, charismatic Bill Clinton fashion, the conversation quickly steered away from the Bush presidential legacy. Clinton opted to talk about the new, re-invented Bush.  George the painter.

“I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’m going to anyway,” Clinton said in remarks directed towards Bush, Jr. “Your mother showed me some of your landscapes and animal paintings and I thought they were great, really great.  And I seriously considered calling you and asking you to do a portrait of me, until I saw the results of your sister’s hacked emails. Those bathroom sketches were wonderful, but at my age, I think I should keep my suit.”

George W. Bush has become quite the da Vinci in his retirement from public office.  The former president takes classes in hopes of perfecting his art.  And thanks to a group of hackers, the world was graced with Bush’s less PG pieces of artwork.

Self-portraits of the former president in the bathtub and shower are shocking to most, including President Clinton.  Yet, Bush seems to be extremely proud to give a naked look into his private life. (The paintings imply nakedness but don’t actually show anything private.)

During an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Bush was asked about the images.  He laughed with Laura, by his side, as he discussed the technical difficulty of creating paintings with running water.

“It’s a beauty isn’t it?” asked Bush when discussing the image of himself in the bath tub. “Uh, it may reflect my precocious nature, me painting myself in the bath tub, or in the shower.  I love to paint, painting has changed my life in an unbelievably positive way.’

While Bush hasn’t explicitly explained the inspiration behind these particular, bathroom images, it’s a unique insight into the mind of a man enjoying life after being the most powerful person in the world.

Maybe, Bill Clinton said it best, today, in reference to the presidential library.

“I told President Obama that, this was the latest, grandest example of the eternal struggle of former presidents to re-write history,” said Clinton.

History will certainly be pleased to re-invent the image of Bush from President to Artist.  Maybe the city of Houston can expect an addition to the Bush Presidential Library with a wing dedicated to the Artist Known As 43.

The artist known as '43'

Updated