Why George W. Bush won’t be painting Michelle Obama

Former US President turned prolific portrait painter, George W. Bush, has painted the faces of military veterans for his follow-up show to world leaders at the George W. Bush Presidential Centre in Dallas. Proceeds from the exhibition Portraits of Courage (until 1 October) and its accompanying book go towards supporting post-9/11 veterans and their families. The 66 portraits and a mural confirm how Bush’s confidence with paint on canvas has grown since his first works were leaked online in 2013. Then a portrait of Vladimir Putin divided opinion. Bush thinks he would do a better job now if he repainted the Russian strongman, but “I’m not going to,” he told Bill Kearney, the editor-in-chief of American Way, the inflight magazine of American Airlines. Another person Bush won’t be painting is the former First Lady and his friend across the political divide, Michelle Obama. Bush revealed why. “I don’t want to incur the wrath of Michelle Obama,” if the portrait wasn’t a success, like the one he attempted of another First Lady, his wife, Laura Bush. Discretion better part of valour, as saying goes.

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