Art | August 7, 2020 11:52 am

George W. Bush Is Releasing His Portraits of Immigrants in New Book

The president-turned-artist is unveiling 43 new portraits

George W. Bush
George W. Bush, artist.
ALYSSA POINTER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Former president and amateur artist George W. Bush is set to release a new book containing 43 portraits of immigrants. The book, titled Out of Many, One, will publish in March, in conjunction with an exhibition at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, where the paintings will also be displayed.

“Through powerful four-color portraits—personally painted by the President himself—and their accompanying stories, OUT OF MANY, ONE reminds us of the countless ways in which America has been strengthened by the individuals who have come here in search of a better life,” the book’s publisher, Crown, said in a statement.

Bush, who has criticized the immigration discourse of the Trump era, expressed hope in the book’s introduction that his work would help a divided country find unity in immigration issues.

“While I recognize that immigration can be an emotional issue, I reject the premise that it is a partisan issue. It is perhaps the most American of issues, and it should be one that unites us,” he wrote. “My hope is that this book will help focus our collective attention on the positive impacts that immigrants are making on our country.”

Bush has been painting since leaving office in 2009, according to CNN, but the former president kept the hobby under wraps before some of his work was exposed in a 2013 email hack. Since then, his paintings have been displayed at his presidential library in Dallas, and a series of his paintings of military service members who served in the armed forces following the 9/11 attacks were displayed in an October exhibit at the Kennedy Center.

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