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The High Five: What Do Art Critics Think Of Former President Bush’s Paintings?

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Categorized Under: The High Five

 

Former President George W. Bush's self-portrait (Photo Credit: Lauren Silverman/KERA News)

Former President George W. Bush’s self-portrait (Photo Credit: Lauren Silverman/KERA News)

 

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Bruce Springsteen sang – and sang – and sang; NASCAR got delayed, thanks to Mother Nature; the Dallas Museum of Art joins a national art competition, and more:

  • The artist formerly known as President George W. Bush unveiled his world leader portraits Friday – and the reviews are starting to roll in. Roberta Smith wrote in The New York Times: “Mr. Bush has an uncanny ability to translate photographs into more awkward images enlivened by distortions and slightly ham-handed brushwork. His skill may be disconcerting for people who love painting and dislike the former president, but still, everyone needs to get a grip, especially those in the art world who dismiss the paintings without even seeing them. If Mr. Bush’s portrait of Mr. Putin were an anonymous find in a thrift shop, most of us would happily snap it up. That these works are by Mr. Bush makes them more complicated, and useful as another lens with which to examine the personality and legacy of a man who may remain the greatest known unknown of his own presidency.” KERA’s Lauren Silverman talked with two art critics to get their thoughts on the former president’s artistic style.
  • Sunday’s rain wasn’t going to stop the Boss. Bruce Springsteen jammed all night long at the free NCAA March Madness Music Festival. He bodysurfed. (You know he’s 64?) And he pulled a few people on stage at the show, performed at the former Reunion Arena site in downtown Dallas. Of course, he performed all sorts of hits. Patti Scialfa, his wife and member of the E Street Band, played her first full show since September 2012, according to The Star-Ledger. The New Jersey newspaper reported: “Since the festival is part of a basketball tournament, Bruce and the E Street Band came out to ‘Sweet Georgia Brown,’ which is the theme music for the Harlem Globetrotters. Then Bruce and Nils Lofgren had a jumpball at center mic as guitar tech Kevin Buell (from Ocean Township) was wearing a referee’s shirt and tossed the ball up. Nils won.” The Dallas Morning News declared Bruuuuce’s performance was “epic, magical and unforgettable. Those hardy souls who braved the cold drizzle — sadly, far fewer than the 40,000 organizers said the grounds could hold — can mark this off their to-do list: Attend the Best Bruce Springsteen Show Ever.” Watch parts of Springsteen’s Dallas performance here.
  • It’s been called one of the unlikeliest championship games ever. Kentucky and Connecticut face off at 8:10 tonight at AT&T Stadium in Arlington for the NCAA Final Four basketball championship. No.7-ranked Connecticut stomped all over No. 1 Florida, 63-53, on Saturday night to advance to the Big Dance. No. 8 Kentucky defeated No. 2 Wisconsin, 74-73. If you’re not one of the 80,000-plus folks watching the game in person, you can catch the championship on CBS.
  • What’s up with Mother Nature when North Texas hosts big sporting events? (You recall the massive ice storm during the North Texas Super Bowl in 2011.) Then, over the weekend, during the Final Four and the NASCAR, Mother Nature dumped a lot of much-needed rain on Dallas/Fort Worth – enough to postpone the Duck Commander 500 to 11 a.m. today. Texas Motor Speedway gates and suites will open at 9 a.m. Fans with Sunday Duck Commander tickets will use the same ticket for admission. But the rain didn’t stop the Guinness Book of World Records from finally declaring the speedway’s TV screen as the world’s largest high-definition LED video board. It’s called “Big Hoss” and it’s 218 feet wide and 95 feet high – and it’s bigger than the one at AT&T Stadium, which at one point was the world’s biggest. “It is amazing what technology and money will accomplish,” TMS president Eddie Gossage said. “It’s the biggest – no period, no qualifier – the biggest, baddest TV on the planet.” Philip Robertson, the Guinness adjudicator, described the screen as “colossal and fantastic.” [Associated Press]
  • The Dallas Museum of Art is teaming up with four big museums across the country to display art in public places across the country. The DMA and the other museums have chosen 100 works of art that represent American history and culture. The public gets to decide which 50 works will be shown across the country – they’ll be displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway posters, and other places. It’s called Art Everywhere US. The Final 50 will be revealed on Aug. 4 in Times Square. DMA director Max Anderson explained to KERA’s Krystina Martinez: “We’re a nation of immigrants, so we have the beauty and the extraordinary breadth and variety of talent, imagination, cultural influences that inform a nation of a third of a billion people.” And in true American fashion, deciding which art will go up will be a democratic process – you get to vote online: “It’s kind of like ‘American Idol’ – you can go on in and make your voice be heard,” Anderson said.