Philip Burke, “The Presidents”
(Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush)
This was commissioned by Garry Trudeau, who wanted something to hang in his studio. It’s a large painting — 6 feet high, 9 feet wide. He wanted a mural of the last five presidents including Bush. He left it up to me how to do it. This was around the time of the Gulf War, and what I was trying to show was Reagan kind of pushing Carter out of the way and giving the thumbs-up to Bush. Actually, in my original sketch, which I showed to Garry, Bush was wiping his hand on his lapel and it was full of blood. So he was trying to wipe the blood from his hand. But, Garry didn’t want it to be that overt.