If you were looking to take in paintings of Vladimir Putin and Vaclav Havel, there were two openings for you to choose from last night. The first was at the George W Bush Presidential Library on the campus of Southern Methodist University.
The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy was shadowed by an opening at Centraltrak Gallery, The University of Texas at Dallas Artists Residency, where The Paintings of George W Bush was being shown. The artwork may not make as much a difference, its more about whether you’d rather be in the company of bohemians or conservatives with homes filled by Edouard Cortes paintings pretending to like W’s art.
It wasn’t just images of world leaders on display at the Deep Ellum gallery, however. Jay Leno, Barney and Socks were also on display, but the one of Putin was the one with a red “sold” dot next to it.
Artist and curator Morehshin Allahyari explained that several artists completed the paintings in a couple of hours. Of course they had images of the president’s own work and not the eight years of experience with world leaders to work with.
The works were close enough representations of the presidents own paintings, with some being a little sketchy even for the former president.
A George W. Bush impersonator greeted guests and his secret service agent kept a keen eye on the pseudo president.
Was there any chance the real George W would make an appearance? “I tagged him on Facebook,” Allahyari said. “We’d love for him to come.”
Allahyari organized the exhibit with Julie McKendrick, created through a collaboration with “Children of Artemis – Sketch Cult” – a regularly assembled group of Dallas-based artists at Centraltrak who make art in a communal setting.
Last night was a big night for openings in Dallas, with attendance as high as we’ve seen it in some time. Centraltrak may have beat them all.