Kehinde Wiley Will Paint Barack Obama's Official Presidential Portrait

17 October, 2017, 00:39 | Author: Warren Cooper
  • Barack and Michelle Obama's portraits commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery

Two sets of each artwork will be created; one will live in the National Portrait Gallery, while the other will hang inside the White House - a tradition that began after George H.W. Bush's presidency. In addition to the $25,000 grand prize and the opportunity to create a portrait for the gallery's permanent collection, Sherald's painting, Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance), is now part of a nationwide museum tour.

Barack and Michelle Obama have selected two black artists to paint their official portraits for the Smithsonian museum.

"The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former President and First Lady", Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a statement on the site. The portraits of the former president and first last will be unveiled at the museum in early 2018 and will be added to the National Portrait Gallery's permanent collection. Los Angeles, 1977), whom President Obama selected, has frequently portrayed young African American men wearing the latest in hip-hop street fashion. According to the National Portrait Gallery's website, the former President will be painted by Kehinde Wiley, while the former First Lady has chosen to work with Amy Sherald.

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Sherald specializes in portraits of black women. The Smithsonian's announcement notes that "Sherald challenges stereotypes and probes notions of identity through her life-size paintings of African Americans".

The Obamas may no longer be in the White House, but their official portraits are soon to live there forever. "As a portrait painter, I have an opportunity to narrate this story for us in a way that has not been narrated historically". They will be paid for their commissioned paintings through private donations.

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