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Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:00 PM

The Obama's portraits are not what you'd expect and that's why they're great

Source: The Washington Post

The National Portrait Gallery has unveiled the official portraits of former president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, both painted by African American artists, and both striking additions to the museum’s “America’s Presidents” exhibition. The 44th president is seen sitting on a wooden armchair that seems to be floating amid a scrim of dense foliage and flowers in an image by Kehinde Wiley. The first lady, painted against a robin’s egg blue background, rests her chin on one hand and stares at the viewer with a curious mix of confidence and vulnerability in a canvas by Amy Sherald.

The artists, chosen by the Obamas, have combined traditional representation with elements that underscore the complexity of their subjects, and the historic fact of their political rise. And both painters have managed to create compelling likenesses without sacrificing key aspects of their signature styles.

Wiley, an established artist whose work is held by prominent museums worldwide, has produced a characteristically flat, almost polished surface, with intensely rich colors and a busy, sumptuous background that recalls his interest in portraiture.

Sherald, who won the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever prize in 2016, has painted Michelle Obama’s face in the gray tones of an old black-and-white photograph, set against a preternaturally bright background, a technique she has used to introduce a heightened sense of the surreal in many of her works.

... But these portraits will remind future generations how much wish fulfillment was embodied in the Obamas, and how gracefully they bore that burden.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/museums/obamas-portraits-unveiled-for-americans-presidents-exhibition/2018/02/12/d9f3691a-1000-11e8-8ea1-c1d91fcec3fe_story.html?utm_term=.4a512b7c93e4

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Reply The Obama's portraits are not what you'd expect and that's why they're great (Original post)
demmiblue Feb 2018 OP
brush Feb 2018 #1
jodymarie aimee Feb 2018 #2
demmiblue Feb 2018 #3
msongs Feb 2018 #4
demmiblue Feb 2018 #5
LakeArenal Feb 2018 #6

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:03 PM

1. They are spectacular. They are not the traditional, stiff and frumpy portraits many expect.

Much like the Obamas themselves.

The Obamas chose their portraitists and the artists painted them in their well established and well recognized and awarded styles.

Here's a link to the ceremony. It's well work watching and may change your mind about the portraits: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210219992

Both of the Obamas speak, as do the artists. It's well worth watching.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:06 PM

2. he does not capture Michelle

in my humble opinion...she is gorgeous....not in his portrait....

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:13 PM

3. The he is a she. Amy Sherald. n/t

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:13 PM

4. article is pay per view nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 02:23 PM

5. Nope. n/t

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:10 PM

6. If the Obamas like them...

Then they are fine by me.

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