Government buildings and presidential libraries around the country are full of official portraits of our presidents. While some of them are noteworthy, most are boring pictures painted by hacks. With President’s Day just around the corner, we dug deep to find an inventive, amusing mix of images of our leaders, both past and present. From contemporary masters Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Chuck Close to outsider and street artists Reverend Howard Finster and Robbie Conal, we found works that truly provide an alternative view of the White House.
Robbie Conal’s painting of Ronald Reagan is one of the most recognizable political images of the 1980s. Painted in 1988, Contra Diction references the Reagan administrations illegal funding and arming of Nicaragua’s right-wing contras fighting the leftist Sandinista regime. The painting was turned into a poster that volunteers plastered on walls across the country and around the world.