In Philadelphia on Saturday, the Union League Club, which has 23 presidential portraits in its collection, unveiled their new portrait of George W. Bush. Birmingham artist Mark Carder told Everything Alabama reporter Michael Huebner that he wasn’t trying to make a statement, nor was he trying to capture a presidential attitude. “What I do in all my portraits is to try to stay out of it. I try to catch people the way they are. He came across as a real nice guy. He’s really down-to-earth when you meet with him one on one.”
Other politicians Carder has painted are Sen. Richard Shelby, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and former Secretary of State James Baker. In 2002, he completed a portrait of George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara that now hangs at the Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas. Preparing for the portrait, Carder spent several hours at the White House. “I was given full access and spent a Friday for about three hours and another couple of hours the following Wednesday meeting with the president and taking hundreds of photographs and doing studies,” he said.
At the unveiling, looking at the extremely conservative portrait, President Bush, who knows very little about any kind of art cracked wise. “I was taken aback by how much gray paint you had to use!” Carder’s portrait captures a hint of the Bush smirk, but the likeness shows far too much compassion for such an inept, pernicious president.
IMHO: Don’t stop me if I’m repeating myself
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