When Huffington Post reported that George W. Bush was about to embark on making a series of portraits of world leaders – I nearly wept at the serendipity of it all.
I regularly seek space for my diverse set of interests to converge. As a non-traditional portrait artist obsessed with political propaganda and defacement. As an international relations academic and a former diplomat who served in Iraq (and wrote a book about that). And as a publisher who has recently published Dr Al Safi’s book, highly critical of the US in Iraq – this is great news for me indeed. To add to my excitement, the New York Times reported that the news of the portraiture had been inadvertently revealed by Jim Glassman. Master propagandist and public diplomacy expert Jim Glassman, doesn’t let anything just “slip”. I regularly use the footage of him preparing for the Arab Spring (astonishingly in 2008) with my students.
Only last week I penned a piece “Paintbrush Diplomacy” about Hilary Clinton’s (and my own) claim that art and diplomacy needs to go hand in hand more. Maybe George has read it and been inspired?
The question is…how do I respond. Having produced my own series of paintings called “World Leaders” is it time I came clean and made 19 defaced portraits of Mr Bush?