Gawker may have gotten hacker Guccifer’s load of Bill Clinton’s alleged presidential doodles, but ANIMAL has your art analysis!
Previously, we spotted the Frida Kahlo influences in George W. Bush’s self-portraits at bath time (also hacked by Guccifer). This time, we got into Bill’s doodles (which you can see in the gallery above) and annotated the physical likenesses, possible contextual references and maybe even some artistic homages and influences. Let’s get started!
First up: Realism! Doodles they may be, but Bill’s genocidal Milosevic is rendered quite expressively — the pathetic jittering furrowing up of the eyebrows and fatty cheeks drooping off the sides of bowing pursed mouth. That’s most definitely his hairline. The devil-horned dragon is Bob Dole-ish, mostly in the facial crease and ear areas.
Bill then proceeds to free-associate all over these notes with the UN “FRY” cook and a dude with a bursting boner, perhaps riffing off those Viagra commercials Bob Dole was doing.
Bill’s snowflake-esque designs riddling the notes bear a dramatic likeness to the way Kurt Vonnegut repeatedly drew assholes in Breakfast of Champions (1973). Only Bill’s assholes are wrinklier and dirtier. Politics is a dirty business after all.
The disintegrating American Flag motifs instantly spark an association with Jasper Johns’ Flags, particularly this scribbly pencil and graphite Flag from 1958.
The incomplete forms repeat themselves, the flag’s stripes unraveling, spiraling and stacking on top of each other in a Duchamp Nude Descending a Staircase-type ordered chaos.
Some stars fade. Some stars are migrated into the safety of box-like containments, reminiscent of Piet Mondrian’s most minimal, satisfyingly-ordered formations — like this Composition in Black and White, with Double Lines (1934). Stars in the most complete renderings of flags turn into dirty, wrinkly assholes, perhaps suggesting Bill’s loss of faith in the American system as it stood at the time of the art-making.
Along with Duchampian geometrical shapes, we can also see that the undulating rays are actually tightly stacked, curved little lines. They are almost post-Impressionistic, nearly identical to the lines comprising Van Gogh’s studies for Cypresses in Starry Night in reed pen.
Maybe Bill just likes thinking about motorcycles, or maybe he’s tapping into a zeitgeist of American visual culture.
It could be a complete coincidence, but Bill’s stick-like tree and tire composition is strikingly similar to James Rosenquist’s Spokes (1978-79) complete with tire lines.
Not bad, Bill!