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Former president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama’s official portraits were revealed at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. today. Kehinde Wiley, the artist behind former POTUS’s portrait, is known for his use of vivid color.  Wiley described the portrait of Obama sitting amid leaves and flowers as:  “I’m charting his path on Earth through those plants.”  Adding that, there’s “a fight going on between him in the foreground.”  Wiley says that the flowers in the portrait are flowers indigenous to Illinois, Hawaii and Kenya – all parts of Obama’s story.

The artist behind the first lady’s portrait is Baltimore Amy Sherald, known for her life-sized portraits of black Americans. Her signature is to paints  with gray skin as a way to “subversively comment about race.”  The portraits will hang in separate galleries, but both will be housed at the National Portrait Gallery for the near future.

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Source: iOne Digital / other

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