Former President George W. Bush unveiled his portraits of world leaders including Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin, which will be featured in an exhibit opening at his presidential library in Dallas on Saturday.
The former president said painting became his new passion after he left the White House.
“I paint a lot because, as you know, I’m a driven person,” Bush said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show with his daughter, NBC contributor Jenna Bush Hager.
Bush has called his new exhibit, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy.” One of his paintings shows a grim-looking Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Bush says “I got to know him very well. It became more intense as time went on.”
He didn’t comment on Russia’s annexation of the Crimea Peninsula, but did say, “Vladimir is a person who in many ways viewed America as an enemy. I tried, of course, to dispel him of that notion.”
News of the former president’s hobby broke last year when hackers gained access to Bush’s sister’s email account and made the images public.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)
George W. Bush's exhibit "The Art of Leadership"
The exhibit runs between April 5 and June 3, 2014 at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas. Photo by Kim Leeson for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, TheBushCenter, Flickr.
Former president George W. Bush has put brush to canvas for his "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy" exhibit. Photo by Kim Leeson for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, TheBushCenter, Flickr.
A portrait of Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel, painted by former president George W. Bush is displayed between two photographs as part of the exhibit, "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy" in Dallas, Texas. Stewart F. House/Getty Images/AFP
A portrait of Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, painted by former president George W. Bush is displayed between photographs as part of the exhibit, "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy." Stewart F. House/Getty Images/AFP
Date created : 2014-04-04