Obama Selects Gay Artist Kehinde Wiley to Paint Smithsonian Portrait

The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the museum in which the portrait will be placed, announced the President's pick.

Barrack Obama has selected New-York based Nigerian artist, Kehinde Wiley, to paint his official portrait. "The theatrical poses and props Wiley assigns to his subjects make references to iconic portraits of powerful figures by Western artists", the Smithsonian said in a press release. We definitely can not wait to see the paintings of the Obamas; they're sure to make us miss them even more. Wiley has painted rapper LL Cool J in the style of John Singer Sargent, Ice T riding astride a horse a la Napoleon by David and young African American men in stained glass tableaus, like saints in a cathedral. Wiley, who is 40 years old and based in NY, is known for painting contemporary male subjects in a style reminiscent of Old Masters portraiture, remixed. I've done several studies in the past, I've sort of worked out different strategies about how that would be, but it's a very curious possibility. The official portraits are two sets: one resides in the White House, while the other is housed at the National Portrait Gallery.

After each presidency, the museum work with the White House to commission one official portrait of the president, and another of his spouse. Sherald challenges stereotypes and probes notions of identity through her life-size paintings of African Americans.

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He is believed to be an exciting choice for the presidential portrait.

Sherald is the first woman to win first place in the National Portrait Gallery's Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, which she won in 2016.

  • Stacy Houston