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Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:42 PM

Want a closer look at the Obama portraits? Found these high-quality images on the CNN website.





Personally I think they're both fantastic.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/12/politics/obama-portrait-unveiling/index.html

110 replies, 7970 views

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Reply Want a closer look at the Obama portraits? Found these high-quality images on the CNN website. (Original post)
Skinner Feb 2018 OP
Vinca Feb 2018 #1
No Vested Interest Feb 2018 #20
PatSeg Feb 2018 #46
Brainstormy Feb 2018 #63
Perseus Feb 2018 #24
Perseus Feb 2018 #28
No Vested Interest Feb 2018 #58
Cha Feb 2018 #94
tblue37 Feb 2018 #78
DeminPennswoods Feb 2018 #93
dflprincess Feb 2018 #87
Iliyah Feb 2018 #2
RestoreAmerica2020 Feb 2018 #62
Eliot Rosewater Feb 2018 #3
CatMor Feb 2018 #4
canetoad Feb 2018 #5
Louis1895 Feb 2018 #6
BigmanPigman Feb 2018 #57
Corgigal Feb 2018 #7
NCTraveler Feb 2018 #17
greymattermom Feb 2018 #8
LAS14 Feb 2018 #12
LittleGirl Feb 2018 #30
grantcart Feb 2018 #31
calimary Feb 2018 #38
Funtatlaguy Feb 2018 #101
Cracklin Charlie Feb 2018 #9
malaise Feb 2018 #10
demmiblue Feb 2018 #11
Gidney N Cloyd Feb 2018 #33
BigmanPigman Feb 2018 #59
BumRushDaShow Feb 2018 #13
bucolic_frolic Feb 2018 #14
ailsagirl Feb 2018 #15
Mr.Bill Feb 2018 #16
LuckyCharms Feb 2018 #18
MrScorpio Feb 2018 #19
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2018 #21
Poiuyt Feb 2018 #64
customerserviceguy Feb 2018 #104
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #22
Morris64 Feb 2018 #23
Iggo Feb 2018 #32
calimary Feb 2018 #39
BumRushDaShow Feb 2018 #43
a kennedy Feb 2018 #89
BumRushDaShow Feb 2018 #95
demmiblue Feb 2018 #67
brush Feb 2018 #81
MrScorpio Feb 2018 #97
Morris64 Feb 2018 #105
Morris64 Feb 2018 #106
MrScorpio Feb 2018 #109
Morris64 Feb 2018 #110
geardaddy Feb 2018 #98
Morris64 Feb 2018 #107
Dr Hobbitstein Feb 2018 #25
Gidney N Cloyd Feb 2018 #36
Sanity Claws Feb 2018 #26
TygrBright Feb 2018 #27
LAS14 Feb 2018 #45
TygrBright Feb 2018 #49
PatentlyDemocratic Feb 2018 #29
eleny Feb 2018 #50
blogslut Feb 2018 #34
MLAA Feb 2018 #35
packman Feb 2018 #37
MontanaMama Feb 2018 #40
ploppy Feb 2018 #41
ornotna Feb 2018 #42
orangecrush Feb 2018 #44
DFW Feb 2018 #47
orangecrush Feb 2018 #48
DFW Feb 2018 #52
orangecrush Feb 2018 #69
DFW Feb 2018 #91
underthematrix Feb 2018 #51
eleny Feb 2018 #53
PatrickforO Feb 2018 #54
planetc Feb 2018 #55
Sucha NastyWoman Feb 2018 #56
DeminPennswoods Feb 2018 #60
fierywoman Feb 2018 #61
Auggie Feb 2018 #65
Nevernose Feb 2018 #66
Omaha Steve Feb 2018 #68
heaven05 Feb 2018 #70
Atman Feb 2018 #71
NurseJackie Feb 2018 #72
rocktivity Feb 2018 #73
StarryNite Feb 2018 #74
edbermac Feb 2018 #75
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #76
tblue37 Feb 2018 #77
Ilsa Feb 2018 #79
doc03 Feb 2018 #80
mcar Feb 2018 #82
kpete Feb 2018 #83
LAS14 Feb 2018 #88
WePurrsevere Feb 2018 #103
rusty fender Feb 2018 #84
Lifelong Protester Feb 2018 #85
SharonClark Feb 2018 #86
ismnotwasm Feb 2018 #90
DFW Feb 2018 #92
octoberlib Feb 2018 #96
Codeine Feb 2018 #99
fishwax Feb 2018 #100
saidsimplesimon Feb 2018 #102
Demsrule86 Feb 2018 #108

Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:44 PM

1. Still don't like them - especially Michelle's. It doesn't look remotely like her.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:12 PM

20. Agreed re Michelle's portrait. If I didn't know that was a portrait of Michelle Obama,

I would not recognize her in it.

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:54 PM

46. When I first saw it,

I didn't know it was Michelle. I'm not crazy about either one of them.

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:55 PM

63. don't like either one. n/t

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Response to Vinca (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:14 PM

24. Agree, it does not look like her

If I saw the painting without a label having her name, I don't think that I would know it was Michelle Obama.

And I don't understand the theme on Obama in front of a bunch of leaves, some hitting his suit, and him sort of inside it, like floating.

Very modern, but it does not do service to them.

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Response to Perseus (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:20 PM

28. One more thing

I know the man-child is going to hate the fact that Obama's hands look huge, and I don't know if the artist was influenced by the man-child's small hands, and yes Obama's hands are bigger than the man-child's, but are they that big? They look out of proportion.

My main criticism is that the portrait of a President and a First Lady should be realistic, and none of the paintings are. They should have hired Daniel Greene, take a look at what this guy does, some of the paintings on the main page are "pastel", they are fantastic, and of course he does oil, that is realism, but if he can do that with "pastel" just see what he can do with oil.

http://www.danielgreeneartist.com/

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Response to Perseus (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:28 PM

58. Michelle and Barack are young enough that there may be other,

better, portraits done of them, in a not-so-stylized form.

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Response to Perseus (Reply #28)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 04:47 AM

94. I had to go back and look

at the hands.. I was busy studying the face.

Wow, those are some big hands! wtheck!

I don't think they capture their true image either.. but if President Obama and Michelle like them.. then it's ok with me.

I know it's art and the artists' interpretations.. and I'm glad so many love their portraits.



Excuse the ugly asshole on the right but this is a recent pic of Obama in a chair.

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Response to Perseus (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 06:16 PM

78. Between two ferns? nt

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Response to Perseus (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 04:35 AM

93. I heard someone on one of the MSNBC shows

say the flowers in the background are native to Hawaii and Kenya as a nod to Obama's childhood and lineage.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:42 PM

87. Completely agree

at least I can recognize him (though, to be shallow, I think he's better looking than this painting) but Michelle's portrait doesn't look like her at all.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:45 PM

2. I like the portraits!

And MO's portrait does look like her.

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:52 PM

62. Absolutely agree! Artist captured their essence, and

...certainly captured (former) First Lady Michelle Obama's beauty, independence, brilliance. I see a strong confident woman, and Obama's-confident, self-assured pose is brill ant. Absolutely stunning portraits!

Michelle Obama's words came to mind...when she was asked about her/their experience with racism during her husband presidency she said that "some could never get past the color of her, their skin."

Wth the exception of we, DU/liberals, I can imagine racist republikkklans hateful and hurtful comments that will be said by them and the racist occupant in the white house who has tried to erase Obama from history? No matter, he will never come close to a man of Obama's stature, intellect; decency and kindness towards all people regardless of religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation language, place of origin. While president he valued America's diversity, he included everyone at the table of opportunity. He and Michele are truly a national treasure...they're the best of us..

Ps. Thank you so much for post. Image of portraits I downloaded were blurry.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:45 PM

3. I tend not to trust most politicians for obvious reasons, these two changed me on that.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:47 PM

4. I think both portraits are wonderful....

very unique, not the usual boring official portraits

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:49 PM

5. Wonderful portraits

Evoke strength and calm.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:52 PM

6. I can't help this reaction to Barack's portrait...

(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden

Martina McBride

I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden
Along with the sunshine there's gotta be a little rain sometime
When you take you gotta give so live and let live and let go oh oh oh oh
I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden

I could promise you things like big diamond rings
But you don't find roses growin' on stalks of clover
So you better think it over
Well, if sweet talking you could make it come true
I would give you the world right now on a silver platter
But what would it matter
So smile for a while and let's be jolly love shouldn't be so melancholy
Come along and share the good times while we can

I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden
Along with the sunshine there's gotta be a little rain sometime
I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden

I could sing you a tune and promise you the moon
But if that's what it takes to hold you I'd just as soon let you go
But there's one thing I want you to know
You'd better look before you leap still waters run deep
And there won't always be someone there to pull you out
And you know what I'm talking about
So smile for a while and let's be jolly love shouldn't be so melancholy
Come along and share the good times while we can

I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden
Along with the sunshine there's gotta be a little rain sometime.....

I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden
Along with the sunshine there's gotta be a little rain sometime.....

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Response to Louis1895 (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:20 PM

57. They just showed them on MSNBC

and they said that the flowers on President Obama's (wow, that felt odd, I haven't written "president" next to a name since inauguration day 2017) portrait represent different places in his live...like the official flower of Chicago and Hawaii, etc. Michelle said she wants younger people to look at her portrait in the future and think about how brown some first families were.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:54 PM

7. President Obama looks so wise.

I don't know how the artist captured that for me, but that is what I see.

Alas..

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Response to Corgigal (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:09 PM

17. I'm not a big fan of these.

But I do agree with you. He possess such a wise appearance. It really does come through.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:57 PM

8. Barack's hands are too big

Is that a subtle joke?

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Response to greymattermom (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:01 PM

12. Hmmm.....

I wonder if that represents reality, and it's just an illusion because of the color and so on, or if the artist did something intentionally. The hands on Michelangelo's David are definitely out of proportion.

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Response to greymattermom (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:20 PM

30. Could be a joke

but they look real and HUGE. I love the look on his face too.
Wasn't a fan of Michelle's but after the HD photo, I think it's well done.

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Response to greymattermom (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:21 PM

31. Compare the two

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Response to greymattermom (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:38 PM

38. ROFL!!!

Touche!

The fiend in me can't help but suspect there's more than a "little" private joke being conveyed by the artist.

Whether intentional or not, I hope it GALLS trump.

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Response to greymattermom (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:32 PM

101. Imagine a photo or cartoon

Of Barack and Trump high giving and Trumps fingertips only come to the middle of Obama’s palm.
He would be so angry. Lol.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:57 PM

9. I love them!

I see power and beauty.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:58 PM

10. Love them

Thanks Skinner

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:59 PM

11. 'Good' art does not need to be explained.

I have seen this expressed here. However, in my experience, some (a lot) of it does. We all know what we like on a purely visual basis, but a greater appreciation and/or consideration for a piece has a lot to do with historical context and symbolism.

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Response to demmiblue (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:26 PM

33. IKR? Every college/university has at least one professor whose job it is to explain art.

I minored in art and I don't remember any of my professors ever saying "this piece is so good that it doesn't need explaining so we'll just skip ahead."

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Response to demmiblue (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:32 PM

59. I got my Bach. Fine Arts and attended 3 art schools

in different cities. I am looking at on of my old textbooks called Aesthetics: A critical anthology and another one called Theories in Modern Art. What I learned from my many, many classes is basically "what constitutes 'art' is in the mind, eye and heart of each, individual observer". Of course you can writes books on art theory, meaning, symbolism, etc. but it is a purely subjective opinion.
I had to go back and get another degrees (I like to eat) to teach school. I taught art when no one was watching, there is no time for are in my former district, and told my students the same thing. They got discouraged and thought they were bad artists and so I stopped those thoughts ASAP.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:03 PM

13. Thank you again Skinner

And for the gardeners, you can recognize some of the flowers there (the artist mentioned some of them and how they relate back to Hawai'i and Chicago). I.e., you see chrysanthemums, and what appears to stephanotis or some type of jasmine, the vine looks like Virginia Creeper, with some rose buds, and possibly a blue creeping phlox included in there.

And it is fascinating how artists can render folds in cloth. I know that is a technique (like light and shadows).

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:06 PM

14. A Golden Age of Fresh Ideas and Diversity

Where did it go?

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:07 PM

15. Thanks, Skinner!

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:08 PM

16. Those look far better than what I've been seeing elsewhere.

I especially like the one of him.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:09 PM

18. The longer I look, the better I like. n/t

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:10 PM

19. Simply lovely!

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:13 PM

21. Personally I think they're hideous,

but if Barack and Michelle like them, that's all that matters.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:55 PM

64. That's the word I was going to use too

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 02:10 PM

104. Same here

I guess I hearken back to the days (we old guys like the word "hearken"!) when professional oil portraits were set in dignified surroundings, such as a person's professional office.

Barack Obama looks like he's in the middle of a jungle. And Michelle's portrait reminds me of a cartoon. But then, I don't "get" most modern forms of art.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:13 PM

22. Barack's portrait looks exactly like him.

I would not know that was a painting of Michelle without being told. I do not think it looks even remotely like her.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:13 PM

23. Curious choice of artist

 

Considering his sad, violent works of beheaded women that tarnish an otherwise beautiful portfolio. Just my opinion though.

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Response to Morris64 (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:24 PM

32. Excellent choice of artist.

Just my opinion.

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Response to Morris64 (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:42 PM

39. Welcome to DU, Morris64!

Well, fortunately, these are quite remarkable.

I am a bit surprised that it would be President Obama depicted with all the leafy foliage behind him - when it's First Lady Michelle who made gardening one of her hallmarks. I'm a little surprised that she wasn't pictured in a garden setting also. But whatever. She's the most glamorous First Lady we've had since Jackie Kennedy. The gown is fabulous, and shows off those famous, beautifully sculpted upper arms of hers - another of her hallmarks!

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Response to calimary (Reply #39)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:52 PM

43. It makes sense if you look at that artist's other works

He basically does some variation of a "vine and flower" backdrop on almost all of his portrait paintings. It's unique to say the least and he would be an incredible botanical artist.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #43)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:10 AM

89. Yes, yes, both artists have captured Barack and Michelle perfectly in

their other works. You can see how the artists image came to life with each one of their paintings. I just wish Michelle’s arms would look like the arms every woman in America tried to get when this photo came out:

https://www.sfgate.com/living/article/Michelle-Obama-s-bare-arms-stir-controversy-3247209.php

Remember when all hell broke lose when this photo hit the stands??? A W E S O M E

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Response to a kennedy (Reply #89)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 06:40 AM

95. Meanwhile

almost every female anchor on television news is in sleeveless dresses year round... including in the colder winter areas.

But she can wear those sleeveless gowns!!!! Inaugural redux -

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Response to Morris64 (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 05:16 PM

67. Pro-Trump trolls are coordinating a smear campaign against Obama portrait artist, Kehinde Wiley

As a response to the unveiling of former President Barack Obama’s official portrait, pro-Trump trolls launched a smear campaign against artist Kehinde Wiley, claiming a painting of his symbolizes an attack against white people and that the artist “seems racist.”

On Twitter and online message boards like the “politically correct” threads on 4chan, 8chan, and The_Donald subreddit on Reddit, pro-Trump trolls are smearing Wiley by claiming his rendition of Judith beheading Holofernes, a modern twist on a classical theme including works by Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, and others, is “a ‘queen’ cutting off the head of a young white child.” Commenters on the message boards and Twitter have said Wiley “seems racist” and accused the artist of being “the definition of racism.”

https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2018/02/12/pro-trump-trolls-are-coordinating-smear-campaign-against-obama-portrait-artist-kehinde-wiley/219343


Go away.

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Response to Morris64 (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 07:56 PM

81. Not, bot.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #97)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:02 AM

105. Thank you for this!!!

 

It still too closely resembles a woman to me. Maybe it’s just a sensitive week for me, buried a good friend today.

Thank you again!

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #97)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 10:54 AM

106. For what its worth, this is still a kill whitey thing

 

According to the artist himself. Sad.

“In one hand, she holds a knife. In the other, a cleanly severed brunette female head. “It’s sort of a play on the ‘kill whitey’ thing,” Wiley says.”

http://nymag.com/arts/art/rules/kehinde-wiley-2012-4/

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Response to Morris64 (Reply #106)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:11 AM

109. Every single one of those paintings by European and American artists are "kill whitey" depictions

Last edited Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:20 PM - Edit history (1)

But no one ever cared about the "white-on-white" paintings.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #109)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:30 AM

110. Interesting parallels to be drawn, huh?

 

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Response to Morris64 (Reply #23)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 11:27 AM

98. You may want to take a look at this before you talk about the artist's paintings

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #98)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 10:56 AM

107. Kill whitey

 

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:17 PM

25. Style-wise, I love Michelle's... But it doesn't look much like her.

Barrack's I don't like at all. The garden ruins it for me. It's like he was just placed on top of a garden painting. It lacks depth.

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Response to Dr Hobbitstein (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:30 PM

36. That's about where I'm at, too.

President Obama's looks like he was photographed in the chair and superimposed there. It's a little too 'photoshop-y' for me.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:18 PM

26. I don't understand Michelle's dress

Almost monochromatic dress, no lipstick, and then blue nail polish.
The muscles on her arms are downplayed.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:19 PM

27. At first, I wasn't much taken with the portrait of Michelle.

But the more I look at it, the more it draws me in. I see enormous subtlety in the balance of simple geometric elements with the more organic shapes of flesh, hair and cloth and their understated modeling and shadowing detail.

I get an impression of great strength and integrity.

I could look at it for hours.

The portrait of Barack is more instantly evocative of a 'wow!' reaction, but it has many layers as well.

I miss them so much.

I'm so proud, grateful, and honored that he was our validly-elected, freely-chosen President for eight years during my lifetime, and that the whole family provided quality leadership.

appreciatively,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:53 PM

45. Me too. They both said the artist got to the real person....

It makes me think that that wonderful Michelle frown is more appropriate to these times than her smile. Not that the portrait is a frown. It's in between.

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Response to LAS14 (Reply #45)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:03 PM

49. To me it looks like an expression of challenge- not least to herself. n/t

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:20 PM

29. Both have distracting elements

 

In his portrait, he disappears into the foliage. In her portrait, the dress dominates. Seems strange to draw the eye away from the subject.

Technically, his portrait is superior, although his hands are far too big (inside joke?).

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Response to PatentlyDemocratic (Reply #29)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:05 PM

50. The eye of the beholder strikes again!

Although the dress is dramatic her face draws me back to it every time. Funny how we had opposite reactions.

I always thought that Michelle Obama could wear a dress beautifully. She was never, imo, swallowed up by her dresses. That can happen given some of the gowns she wore. But she dominated every time to my eyes. Same in this portrait.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:26 PM

34. Thank you!

I was waiting for a closer, better look at them. Yay!

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:30 PM

35. President Obamas captures him....strength and compassion.

I love Michelle’s portrait because it captures her style, confidence and exudes her power. The likeness in the face could be a tad better, but I still appreciate it.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:32 PM

37. Could and should have been better -

Not very powerful and lacking in message. Also, why separate official pixs, their "oneness" was the most appealing and most compelling part of their tenure in the White House.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:46 PM

40. Sooooo....

If The Dotard gets thrown out of office or resigns, does he get a portrait? Asking for a friend...

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:46 PM

41. I love them. eom

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:51 PM

42. They are both just wonderful

I do like them.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:53 PM

44. The large hands

Speak to me not as a joke about Trump, but instead of strength and capability, the feeling of security we had when the helm of the country was in those gentle hands.

Michelle's portrait evokes her unpretentious style, beautiful but not in an artificial way, her genuine caring for ordinary people shines through.

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Response to orangecrush (Reply #44)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:57 PM

47. Actually, in person, they don't seem large at all.

His handshake is firm (actually, strong for a leftie, just like Bill Clinton), and his fingers are long (he should have been a guitarist!), but they aren't anything like the painting implies.

I find Michelle to be far prettier in person than the painting shows. That surprised me more than anything.

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Response to DFW (Reply #47)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:00 PM

48. You are quite fortunate

to have met them!

Thanks for sharing that memory!

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Response to orangecrush (Reply #48)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:07 PM

52. Several times, actually.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/125170848

I first met him as a Senator in 2006. then again at the Denver Convention in 2008. I got to spend an hour with him during the 2012 campaign season, saw them both briefly at the White House for three years in a row after that.

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Response to DFW (Reply #52)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 05:29 PM

69. Thank you, Sir


for sharing that!

And thank you for your service to our party and country!


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Response to orangecrush (Reply #69)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 04:25 AM

91. No need

I just do what I do. Sometimes it takes me to interesting places and lets me hang with interesting people. Most of the time, it's too little sleep and too much work, just like everyone else.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:05 PM

51. I love both portraits.

When I first looked at iMichelle Obama's portrait I wondered why the artist didn't use natural tones. Then I remembered how Michelle's beautiful deep rich skin color was a palette for hate. Hateful people (mostly white) would re-imagine Mrs. Obama as an ape or monkey even though lower primates have whitish grey or pink skin and straight hair like most whites. They re-imagined her as a man with a penis because in their world femininity was pale, pink, translucent. So as vibrant, as brilliant, and as beautiful as Mrs Obama is she had to operate in grey scale to do all the amazing things that she did for America. Even her beautiful toned slightly muscular arms were toned down. Her throne of grace was hidden under the spray of her wide skirted draping dress. Yes living in grey scale shows the power of African American endurance, creativity, and wisdom.

The portrait is so powerful that I imagine in 20 years, there will be a political history course simply titled GREY SCALE.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:08 PM

53. A big thank you to the artist for Michelle Obama's bare arm!

Btw, I like both portraits. Artists often create what they feel and I appreciate these efforts.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:10 PM

54. I like the one of Michelle, particularly her dress. It's just striking.

Some of the other posters said they would not have recognized this woman as Michelle, and I can see that. Still a striking portrait though, and once you know it IS Michelle, you can see it.

As to the one of Barack, I'm a bit indifferent to it, mainly because of the leafy background. Not sure what the artist wanted to show, but this is a dignified man, a man of gravitas, a statesman and a great president. I'd prefer to see the background lend a little more dignity. Again, the likeness is great. The leaves not at all.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:10 PM

55. I think both portraits are excellent.

Without knowing the artist likes greenery, my instant reaction was that it was a happy instance of symbolism--green being the color of growth, nature, hope, and energy, all of which suggest the triumph of his election in the first place. Far from disappearing into the greenery, the likeness of the president burns with energy, focus, intensity, thought, and engagement. He gazes straight at the viewer, challengingly. And then I noticed that there appear to be four or five different kinds of flowers in various stages of bloom, which you would not find in nature emerging from one kind of foliage. I thought the different flowers suggested all the colors of humans in the US, and this president's desire that we should all bloom. The portrait draws the eye, and rivets it on the face of the subject, and says: this is what a president looks like. He may have left office, but he is the ground we all grow from in this country, and there is really no stopping him or his spiritual successors.

As for the portrait of Michelle, I think it's brilliant in a different way. The combination of her sideways pose with the patterns in her long dress create an obvious, but graceful, triangle whose apex is her calm face. Our eyes are drawn upward to hers. And she is not smiling. We have seen her smile beautifully on all sorts of occasions, but we have not had much chance to see her being calm and reflective. (Mrs. Obama, your husband's written several books. There's no law against your writing one.) So the portrait is geometric, clean, elegant, and says to me that we still do not have the measure of this woman who put up with floods of nonsense and abuse from the resident racists. She is still there, and we do not know her well, but the strength and determination in her face unmask a side of her, and all women, that we don't see often. Most women hide aspects of themselves to function socially: Mrs. Obama chooses to reveal some of the qualities she brings to this life, no matter who she's married to.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:19 PM

56. My first impression was that Michelles portrait looks more like the artist then Michelle

Michelle Obama has a fiery clarity in her eyes. A beautiful glow, also, that show her kindness and intelligence. I don’t see that in this portrait at all. I agree with those who say if they saw this portrait and were asked who it was, many people would not know.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:48 PM

60. Peter Max came immediately to mind

when I saw these.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:49 PM

61. It's art, not photorealism. I find them both powerful yet sympathetic.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 05:07 PM

65. My gripe: there's no warmth or authenticity to either of these

Portrait painting should bring you closer to the subject, not create remoteness (especially with these two wonderful souls).

Very poor execution in my professional opinion. Failing grade.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 05:15 PM

66. I intensely dislike the Barack painting

More specifically, the background. Because it’s essentially one “even” surface, it has neither linear nor atmospheric perspective — yet it still interacts with the President, who is sitting in a chair, looking both dapper and three dimensional.

It makes me dizzy. Fun as an optical illusion, but not so much as a presidential portrait.

But what would I know? I’m the guy who was escorted out of the Smithsonian for screaming, literally, “The emperor had no clothes!” Mostly because I hate Mark Rothko, because fuck that guy.

I quite like Michelle’s portrait, though.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 05:28 PM

68. K&R!


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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 05:30 PM

70. classy people

What's stinking up 1600 NOW is dumpster material.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 05:32 PM

71. Enough to make one change his mind!

At least about the Michelle one -- I liked Obama's from the beginning, especially when viewing it along with other work by the artist. But seeing it like this, with proper color and, nice and sharp...it's a stunner. I still don't think I would guess it Michelle if I saw it out of context, but it's still a beautiful painting.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 05:33 PM

72. I'd have preferred something a bit more formal and dignified... less trendy pop-culture.

But, I guess it's better than this:



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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 05:38 PM

73. Not presidential enough

Why have the first black African-American president sitting in is essentially a jungle? But the artist did capture his resemblance and project his essence. The painting of Michelle (I cannot consider it a portrait) is the work of a serious high schooler: it's two-dimensional, the dress is the star of the show, and it doesn't look like her anyway.


rocktivity

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 05:38 PM

74. I want to like them but...

I really don't like them. The explanation for all the leaves and flowers helps me understand why all that surrounds President Obama. I do like the way his eyes are portrayed. However, Michelle Obama's eyes don't sparkle in the painting. She looks sad and unsure, not full of life the way we are used to seeing her. But then again, I guess we are all sad and unsure these days.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 06:09 PM

75. Meh, Bob Ross could have done a better job.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 06:09 PM

76. What is "off" about the face of Michelle's portrait, IMO, is the right side...

...of the face (the left, as you look at it). The iris of the right eye is too close to the nose, giving a cross-eyed look, and that entire side of the face looks smaller. If you cover that side of the face and look at just her left side, it does look like her at least somewhat. The other side does not. Not even a little.

And before anyone chimes in to inform me that our faces are not symmetrical, I do know this.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 06:15 PM

77. Ooohhh--she is wearing her famous blue-grey nail color! I didn't notice that in

the image in the earlier thread. It's a pretty portrait, but the face doesn't look much like her (though everything else does). Also, she usually smiles.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 06:18 PM

79. I think Michelle's eyes are more prominent in realty.

But I think the artist captured the essence of her style, intelligence, and demeanor.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 06:19 PM

80. God what were they thinking. I think they are awful. Sorry I

liked them both and think Obama was a great president but no I don't like that at all. But
what do I know.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 08:12 PM

82. I like them too

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 08:19 PM

83. I am an artist

and an art teacher
Don't even get me started on Art History
It is the only thing other than politics that I am obsessed with.

I FIND THESE PORTRAITS SO REFRESHING!!!

Compared to these:


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Response to kpete (Reply #83)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:58 PM

88. Thanks! It really brings home how special the Obamas are. How they...

... broaden our horizons.

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Response to kpete (Reply #83)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:14 PM

103. As a fellow artist I totally agree!

While I greatly appreciate the craftsmanship past artists have put into their paintings of presidents and first ladies, I think such unique art is prefect to represent the uniqueness that is the Obamas and IMO they each capture the essence of who the Obamas are.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 08:22 PM

84. Love them both!

Perfect

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 10:55 PM

85. They make me miss them.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:29 PM

86. I hope the Obamas are happy with the portraits.

It would be a shame if they thought they are as bad as I think they are.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:12 AM

90. I adore them

I was taken aback at first glance, them I saw how gorgeous the work really is. Just stunning

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 04:33 AM

92. What struck me was how similar BHO's portrait was to a family portrait of us about 20 years ago.

Someone has the same taste in backgrounds:
[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 07:22 AM

96. I like Michelle's but Barack looks about 80 in that portrait.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 11:43 AM

99. There is such a thing as trying entirely too hard. nt

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:22 PM

100. I think they're stunning. I love them.

I think the president's is a more accurate likeness, but I prefer the painting of Michelle. It's so striking, as is she.

I love how confidently they've disrupted the traditional style of these national gallery portraits.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:13 PM

102. I was looking for this, thank you.

Mrs. Obama's portrait looks more like her daughters. It delights me that she may have included them in the homage. Just my silly, human side showing.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:03 AM

108. I think they are gorgeous. Thanks for the pictures.

Love the Obamas and miss them.

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