‘Self-taught cowboy painter’ from Missouri created Trump portrait seen on ’60 Minutes’

By By Lisa Gutierrez, The Kansas City Star

While some people were paying attention to what President Donald Trump was saying to Leslie Stahl during his “60 Minutes” interview, others couldn’t help but notice the White House decor — in particular one portrait hanging on the wall.

It shows Trump sitting around a table laughing it up with other Republican presidents — Nixon, Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt, both Bushes. Abraham Lincoln is in the forefront, his back to the viewer.

They’re drinking, but it looks like Lincoln is a plain-water kind of guy. The glass next to Trump presumably has his favorite Diet Coke in it.

Andy Thomas noticed it, too. He’s the Missouri artist who created the painting, which is described on his website as an “inside view of the Republican Club.”

“Wow, during the 60 Minutes interview this evening look what is on the wall!” Thomas posted on his Facebook page.

Then he gave the link to AndyThomas.com because yes, you, too, can own a copy of that artwork, and the “Democratic version” Thomas created showing former President Barack Obama alongside other Democratic presidents.

Twitter seemed just as excited as Thomas to see the painting hanging in the White House, though not necessarily in a good way given that one person Photoshopped Vladimir Putin into the tableau next to Trump.

Former “Star Trek” star George Takei, prolific on social media, asked his nearly 3 million Twitter followers to come up with captions, and boy did they.

“Now this is a painting that should have had a built-in shredder,” tweeted one.

“Oh my god, it’s hanging in the white house,” tweeted Josh Billinson, editor of the conservative Independent Journal Review.

Thomas, who works out of Carthage, Missouri, is “known nationally for his paintings of politics, American history and the West,” according to The Joplin Globe.

He is described as a “self-taught cowboy painter” on his website.

Over the years he’s created four paintings featuring American presidents, “two each for the major political parties,” the Globe reported.

“I like the challenge of putting eight or nine faces together — it’s not easy,” he told the Globe. “And it’s a fantasy, really, because they didn’t live in the same time periods. It stimulates you, thinking what they would talk about.”

He told The Daily Beast that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) gave the painting to Trump, and that president called him about it.

“He had actually given me a real gracious call to tell me how much he liked it,” Thomas told the Daily Beast. “He was very complimentary. He made a comment that he’d seen a lot of paintings of himself and he rarely liked them.”

When he updated a previous version of the Republican portrait by adding Trump, the newest Republican president “was a little hard to paint because his light hair, tan skin and lack of dark recesses under his eyes make his face mostly just ‘a light warm color,'” Time magazine wrote.

“He also found it hard to give Trump a ‘genuine smile,’ and had to redo the painting after his first take seemed off.”

The painting includes a bit of political shade that might not have been obvious to people who only saw it on “60 Minutes.” Thomas included the shadowy figure of a woman hovering in the background.

“Wait, this is a club of all the past men who served as a Republican United States President! Who could that female be walking directly to the table? One can only guess,” his website says.

“She could be anybody,” Thomas told the Globe.

“That is going to be the first female Republican president who walks up to the table or the first Democratic president,” he told the Globe. “It’s not like I’m advocating for it — it’s going to happen.”

For the record, Thomas told the Joplin newspaper he considers himself a Libertarian and has supported both Republican and Democratic presidents in the past.

This article provided by NewsEdge.