George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States and amateur artist, is preparing to release his second book, One Of Many: Portraits of America’s Immigrants. It will include 43 picturesque portraits of American immigrants.
The news sparked a wave of outrage on social media. Critics accuse the former president of hypocrisy since it was under his leadership that the immigration and customs police were created in the country, taking harsh measures under Trump against undocumented immigrants.
In the foreword, Bush writes that while acknowledging that immigration can be a very sensitive issue, he rejects the notion that it is a matter of party preference. Perhaps this is the most American question of all, and it should unite Americans. He hopes this book will help focus collective attention on the positive impact of immigrants on the country.
The former president took up painting shortly after leaving office but did not advertise this hobby until 2013. When attackers hacked his sister Dorothy Bush-Koch’s e-mail, several images of his paintings were leaked online. In 2016, the hacker was caught and sentenced to 4 years in prison for hacking mailboxes and social media accounts of more than a hundred famous personalities. Bush did not deny his authorship and hung his portraits of Putin, the Dalai Lama, and his father, George W. Bush, in a library in Dallas.
Since then, he began to exhibit his works openly. They even received positive reviews from critics. As his daughter Jenna Bush-Hager, an employee of NBC, told in an interview with the channel, the ex-president does not consider himself a great artist but admits that he discovered a whole new world. Referring to Winston Churchill, Bush tells his family that painting is a great way to relax and that his experience will serve as an example for others to learn something new in life.
One of Many will be released on March 2, 2021, by Crown. The publication will be timed to coincide with an exhibition at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. And a part of the proceeds from sales will be donated to organizations helping immigrants in the United States.