What harbingers do you take seriously? President Carter was an introvert who turned outward and embodied a concern for community felt in the hearts of many in his time. Bush, the backslapping extrovert quoting ball-scores and telling crude jokes, turns inward and becomes a painter after his stint as national ego in-chief and I wonder what it means.
George is really pretty good for a rank beginner and I wouldn’t deride him for that -- too bad he gets all that attention. He has the courage to be judged, takes that chance and comes out miles ahead of all those condescending noted authorities who ‘never played the game’. I’ll try to be more clear. There are people who assume rank and position in the art establishment with too few dues in the pot, professional chameleons who look all directions and change color with the crowd. They can’t decide if Norman Rockwell was an artist, a great artist, or not even and the tide moves back and forth every ten years or so. They don’t know what art is.
George will probably never be good having started way too late, but he’s put himself on that highway and something about it is so compelling, some part of himself was so thirsty for time in front of an easel that he’s willing to humbly accept an avalanche of ridicule and scorn just to be able to do it. His persona has softened and ‘decider’ no more, he devotes himself to looking at things and noticing stuff, trying to figure out how to make flat canvas say the same thing. Well, that’s George’s thing and we move on but he was a man of his time elected to represent all of us, and in the arc of his presidency somehow he did, ending in a bankruptcy no one expected.
Still at the crest of a wave of national consciousness our most recent ex-president has concluded that self-discovery was the missing component, and so does a nation suddenly interested in art. It isn’t just him. Oh I’m as rational as the next but history with art as its expression can be read a couple of different ways, and the way things are going looks to me like artists are going to be the ballplayers in another generation or two.