Former President Barack Obama was back in the presidential spotlight today, but instead of wading into a policy debate, he was unveiling official portraits of himself and former First Lady Michelle to be included in the Smithsonian collection.
The couple looked on as the new works of art were revealed to the public Monday afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery.
“Nobody in the family tree as far as I can tell had a portrait done,” the former president said.
Artist Kehinde Wiley did the colorful interpretation of Barack, while Amy Sherald did the picture of Michelle.
Official presidential portraits were revealed today.
Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley.
— Jamal Jordan, not Lil Uzi Vert. (@lostblackboy) February 12, 2018
According to The Hill, the former president tried to have a bit of influence over the picture.
“I tried to negotiate less gray hair,” he said. “I tried to negotiate smaller ears. Struck out on that as well.”
As always, online opinions were pretty divided.
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) February 12, 2018
— Casey J Porter (@CaseyJPorter) February 12, 2018
They’re officially cemented in history…in the #NationalPortraitGallery! The #Obamas just unveiled their official portraits this morning, painted by amazing artists #KehindeWiley and #AmySherald. #blackhistorymonth https://t.co/GiJQGyzz0s pic.twitter.com/UPVT6XZsOr
— YBF CHIC (@TheYBF) February 12, 2018
Knowing that 200 years from now – for eternity, really – people coming to DC from all over the world will see these portraits of President @BarackObama and First Lady @MichelleObama hanging in the @NPG gives me indescribable joy!#ObamaPortraits #myNPG #NationalPortraitGallery pic.twitter.com/fu5hl8MD6e
— Kimberly A. Woodard (@BeingKimmieToo) February 12, 2018
YIKES: Michelle Obama's official portrait draws gasps at unveiling. This is what happens when you hire people for their politics instead of their talent. Painter Amy Sherald is known for her 'social justice' art. #MichelleObama #NationalPortraitGallery #Smithsonian #ObamaGate pic.twitter.com/ASVZFQ4ACm
— ViveLaFrance (@vivelafra) February 12, 2018
— StillWithHer (@jimlautenbach) February 12, 2018
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