Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Bush "Sexy" Portrait

If a leader's record proves poor, there are ways for an artist to convey his disapproval of his subject. But rarely will an artist take a portrait as an opportunity to show someone literally getting screwed.

That's what portrait artist Jonathan Yeo has done for George W. Bush. Unveiled in August at the Lazarides Gallery in London, Yeo's unofficial presidential portrait is a photomontage of images snipped from 100 pornographic magazines.

According to the gallery, "Yeo was commissioned to undertake a portrait of US President George W Bush, but was later told his services were not required. He decided to continue the commission on his own, and Tuesday’s unveiling will reveal the fruit of his labours. In a few weeks time we will be releasing a limited edition screen print of the Bush collage."
Artistically this portrait says a lot about this very controversial president. It can also just be perceived as a formal “Fuck You”.

The piece is Jonny's way of getting back at the White House and it's supporters, who commissioned him to paint the President for his library several years ago, only to drop him in the wake of the Iraq war amid mutterings that the name Yeo sounded a tad too foreign. Which is ironic given that the son of Conservative MP Tim has established himself as a sought-after portraitist who has painted leading politicians (Tony Blair, Charles Kennedy, he's working on David Cameron), film stars (Nicole Kidman is sitting for him even now) and businessmen (Rupert Murdoch has commissioned him several times). "Bush is someone who doesn't seem to react to criticism on any kind of intellectual or philosophical level so you find yourself resorting to schoolboy humour to get his attention," Yeo says. "This is not about the Iraq war or about his policies. This is just about him. It's supposed to be amusing rather than offensive, to make people smile rather than change their political views."

Apparently the picture took three times as long to produce as a painted portait. Part of the challenge was finding the right skin tones (some magazines are better than others, though I won't mention which ones). So it's not a painting, but it's definitely a portrait: at a distance, Bush's close-set, beady eyes and pursed frown are plainly visible. Up close, however, the image devolves into a collage of naked flesh, bodily emissions, and human orifices. A blowjob comprises most of Bush's right ear; where his left dimple should be is an image of a woman's face, locked in a moan of ecstasy.

The proud artist and his masterpiece.

The portait and some details for the skeptic ones ;)


Lourenço said...

What a creative, humorous and beautifuly accomplished idea =)