Barack Obama will officially go down in history as the most swagged out president to ever touch the Oval Office. To prove it, he’s having his portrait done by hip-hop portrait artist Kehinde Wiley.
President Obama really stepped out the box for this one. He and wife Michelle Obama have selected the first ever Black painters to do the presidential portrait. Michelle Obama will have her profile done by Baltimore-based painter Amy Sherald.
Normally, ex-presidents and their First Ladies have their portraits painted by artists commissioned by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
According to tradition, the last eight US presidents have employed 90-year old portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler.
But, the Obamas said FOH, Wiley and Sherald are too fire.
Wiley draws inspiration from classical European paintings and adds a touch of African American street culture. His style is unparalleled. The NY-based artist takes oil on canvas to another level.
Peep Wiley’s version of “The Virgin Martyr Saint Cecilia…”
This Swizz Beatz portrait he did for his Modern Kings Series
And Carmelo Anthony looking like he’s about to conquer a kingdom
Amy Sherald, 44, has a unique style. Her depictions of African American women have won her prestigious awards.
Sherald became the first African American and first woman to ever win the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.
She was chosen for the $25,000 award from among 2,500 entrants.
Sherald uses grey skin tones to depict the complexion of African Americans
Her work speaks to you, it’s like every portrait tells a story
Peep this oil and canvas
The Obamas’ portraits are definitely going to bring a lot of well-deserved attention for both artists. They will be unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC next year.
Shoutouts to Michelle and Barack for going against the grain. Your individuality will forever be imprinted in the minds of people everywhere.