Martijn van Goor and the Dennie Boxem began this painting early 2008. The idea rose because of the desire to imitate a great Renaissance master at least once in their lives. They used the composition of Rafeals School of Athens (1509-10). Boxem finished the painting in 2013.
Male white world leaders is about the American presidential elections of 2008: the first election that could result in a female or black president. Up to that point, all western world leaders had been white men.
Presidential candidates were Hillary Clinton and Barack O’bama, pictured arm in arm in the center. In front of them are former president George Bush and fellow candidate John McCain. The shapes around them show the faces of famous leaders from the past and present. With 365 to 173 electoral votes O’bama would end up winning the election of McCain, with whom he became America’s 44th and 1st black president.