Columba Bush, Wife of Jeb, Hangs Out With Pop Painter Romero Britto

Romero Britto, Jaquelininha (1994) Photo: artnet

Buried in the middle of the New York Times‘ recent profile of Columba Bush, wife of former Florida governor and presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, is an amusing, art-related tidbit. Adding to the dynastic political family’s art world cred (or perhaps lack thereof) is the fact that Mrs. Bush is close friends with Brazilian-born, Miami-based Pop painter Romero Britto, in whose studio she can occasionally be found making paintings of her own. According to the article, it was there that she recently created a small painting of a cat.

Britto, who is known for bombastic, Cubism-influenced paintings of lovers, children, cultural figures, and yes, cats, isn’t an artist whose work you’re likely to find on the wall of a prestigious museum. The majority of his paintings sell for between $2,000–$10,000, according to the artnet Price Database, but in 2011, Blanche neige, a portrait of Disney’s “Snow White” hammered for an unprecedented $80,322 at the French auction house Cornette de Saint-Cyr. In 2010, For the love of soccer, a painting of an anthropomorphic soccer ball wearing a striped suit went for $25,000 at Phillips de Pury in New York.

Romero Britto, Columba Bush, and Jeb Bush with a portrait of Mrs. Bush done by Britto.

Romero Britto, Columba Bush, and Jeb Bush with a portrait of Mrs. Bush done by Britto.

While we don’t yet know what Bush’s artwork looks like (someone please find a picture of that cat painting for us!), her pal’s is a far cry from that of artistically-inclined brother-in-law George W. Bush—perhaps not in quality, but certainly in style. While Britto favors bold colors and affected subject matters, the former president’s work tends to be more subdued, and focuses on historical figures (see George W. Bush is Still a Bad Painter, George W. Bush’s Pearls of Wisdom on Painting, and Impeach This Art? George W. Bush Has His Museum Debut in Dallas). But perhaps there will be a collaboration between these two somewhere down the line? Or at the very least, a garish, Technicolor portrait of the former president, courtesy of Britto.


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