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.
Here they are—the official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama for the @smithsoniannpg. “Amy, I want to thank you for so spectacularly capturing the grace and beauty and intelligence and charm and hotness of the woman I love,” the former President said to @asherald, who painted his wife’s official portrait.
“How about that? That’s pretty sharp,” @BarackObama said after helping to unveil his official portrait at @smithsoniannpg. The former president chose @kehindewiley to paint him. Wiley is known for his depiction of African Americans posed in the style of Old Master paintings, but with urban, colorful, wallpaper-like backgrounds.
“Wow,” says @MichelleObama at the unveiling of her official portrait at @smithsoniannpg. The former first lady chose Baltimore-based artist @asherald, an African-American artist known for themes of social justice, to paint her. “I don’t think there is anybody in my family who has ever had a portrait done…At least as far as I know, Mom,” Obama said to her mother, Marian Robinson, who attended the event in Washington on Monday.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter!
RELATED: The Obamas Set To Donate $2 Million To Fund Summer Jobs For Chicago Youth
The Latest Music, Celebrities and Interviews: Follow @praisecharlotte