Arts&Culture

Barack and Michelle Obama choose artists to paint their official portraits

Barack and Michelle Obama choose artists to paint their official portraits”

Barack and Michelle Obama selected the artists who will paint their portraits for the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, the museum announced Friday.

The Obamas' portraits will be unveiled in early 2018, and will become an addition to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

Dressed in modern-day T-shirts and sneakers, baseball caps and tattoos, Wiley's subjects are immortalized in regal poses of kings and saints, rendered against a vibrant, textile backdrop.

Obama's predecessors have preferred to sit for 90-year old portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler, who has painted eight U.S. presidents, but Obama chose to go with Kehinde. Los Angeles, 1977), whom President Obama selected, has frequently portrayed young African American men wearing the latest in hip-hop street fashion. There are two sets of official portraits: one for the White House and one for the National Portrait Gallery.

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His works include portraits of LL Cool J, Michael Jackson and Notorious B.I.G.

For the portrait of Michelle Obama, Amy Sherald has been tapped to capture the grace of the former First Lady. More subdued that Wiley, Sherald's work has won a prestigious prize from the Portrait Gallery just a year ago, while showing in public collections across the country.

She uses a gray-scale in her life-sized oil paintings of African American people. In another lifetime known popularly as 2012, Wiley spoke about Obama's presidency with the BBC.

Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a statement the museum is "absolutely delighted" the artists agreed to paint the official portraits of the couple.



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