On Monday, the portraits of President Obama and Michelle Obama that will be displayed in the National Gallery of Art were unveiled. There has been a great deal of comment regarding the portraits ranging from those who really like them to those who think that they are the worst portraits of a president and his wife ever done.
Kehinde Wiley is the artist who painted the portrait of President Obama. He did not paint the portrait of Michelle Obama. The portrait shows the former president seated and leaning slightly forward. In the painting’s background, President Obama is surrounded by green foliage and flowers of different colors.
Mr. Wiley is a well-known artist who is based in New York City. He has been working in the field of contemporary art for over 20 years, and some of his paintings have sold for well over $100,000.
Many of Mr. Wiley’s paintings depict prominent African-Americans in historical settings. For instance, one of Mr. Wiley’s more famous portraits depicts Michael Jackson dressed in the garments of King Philip II and riding a white horse. Wiley has painted portraits of LL Cool J and other hip-hop artists in various styles from the past. Several of Mr. Wiley’s hip-hop paintings were displayed in the National Gallery Art during a special exhibition.
Kehinde Wiley was specifically chosen by Mr. Obama to paint his official portrait. Mr. Obama met with the artist, and the two men discussed the way in which Wiley would depict the former president.
The portrait of President Obama is quite different from the portraits of the other past presidents. Most of the other portraits depict the former presidents in a more regal and stately manner. The painting of President Obama is unique in its background and overall color scheme.