The Obama’s recently got their official portraits painted and put in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. Barack’s was done by Kehinde Wiley and Michelle’s was done by Amy Sherald. Both of these artists are African American, and that is the first time an African American artist has painted the President and first lady's official portraits. The portraits were revealed at the national portrait gallery on February 12th. The portraits are located in 2 different locations in the gallery, Obama’s is located on the second floor in the America’s president’s gallery, and Michelle’s is located on the first floor in the ‘recent acquisitions’ section.
Michelle’s portrait is getting a lot of attention from the country, especially from one little girl named Parker Curry. Parker is a two year who became Instagram famous because of a picture her mom posted. The picture was of her staring in front of Michelle’s Portrait looking mesmerized by it. CNN reached out to the Obama’s and the Curry’s and planned a meeting turned dance party. Michelle says "Parker, I'm so glad I had the chance to meet you today (and for the dance party)! Keep on dreaming big for yourself...and maybe one day I'll proudly look up at a portrait of you".
Barack’s portrait has a lot of meaning behind it. It features him sitting in a chair in front of greenery, which is supposed to represent his past. The painting seems to have a modern pop-art feel. Obama says "I tried to negotiate less gray hair, and Kehinde's artistic integrity would not allow him to do what I asked. I tried to negotiate smaller ears, struck out on that as well." Kehinde apparently took thousands of pictures of Barack before he actually started the painting.
These portraits are possibly the most anticipated presidential and first lady portraits ever. They were commissioned in October of 2017 and were just unveiled. The Obama’s looked through more than 24 artists before they decided on Wiley and Sherald. The portraits both seem to really embody the spirit of the Obama’s. They are full of stunning colors and are iconic in so many ways.
Story by Ginger Hanlon