Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
June 1, 2012

Portrait of Bush

I was looking at photos from the White House portrait unveiling yesterday, and thinking how different they could be. Above we have Bush with Bush by AP’s Charles Dharapak. That’s the Bush we’re familiar with, the body language like a goof, Dubya also looking a little washed out since the Oval Office days.

In marked contrast, this is a quite a rare shot of Bush by AP’s Carolyn Kaster. It offers Dubya not only not looking like a goof, but appearing reflective even, wistful. And where was he the whole time? …Maybe there’s some recognition in Bush’s reaction about how portrait’s lie, the painting — representing a gravitas he never achieved — burying the smirk forever.

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