- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

College dropout Kanye West accepted an honorary doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on Monday at its annual commencement.

“I am a pop artist, so my medium is public opinion, and the world is my canvas,” said Mr. West, who dropped out of Chicago State University at age 20. “‘I’m sorry’ is something that you can use a lot. It gives you the opportunity to give your opinion, apologize for it, and give your opinion again.”

“George Bush,” he said before receiving a wave of laughter, “has some very cool self-portraits. I didn’t know he was an artist.”

The comment was a reference to the 43rd president’s penchant for painting, as well as a likely nod to a 2005 rant the rapper gave over Mr. Bush’s handing of Hurricane Katrina.

The school told Complex magazine that the honorary doctorate, awarded to figures such as Jeff Koons, Marina Abramovic and Yoko Ono, is given to “influential individuals” who are “remarkable examples of creative success and determination.”

Dean Lisa Wainwrigh defended the decision to honor Mr. West last month.

“There’s still this sense that high art is what we do, is what we honor, is what we’re about. And that pop culture is not what we teach in art school,” she told The Fader magazine. “Pop culture, mass culture — that’s a whole other thing, and we’re about high art. I think that’s a problem. We’re trying to collapse those boundaries a little bit. That’s what I like about Kanye.”

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