Monday Feb 12, 2018 – Nigerian American Artist Kehinde Wiley Hired To Paint Barack & Michelle Obama Official Portraits For The National Portrait Gallery Washington DC
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC has announced that Barack and Michelle Obama handpicked Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald to paint their official portraits, making them the first Black artists to be commissioned to paint a presidential couple for the National Portrait Gallery. .
On Monday morning, the Obamas unveiled Wiley and Sherald’s work at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, and as expressed by Michelle Obama, they were “overwhelmed.” “I’m thinking of all the girls of color who will come and see someone who looks like them hanging on the wall of this great American Institution,” said Michelle Obama during the ceremony.
“And I know the kind of impact that will have on their lives, because I was one of those girls.”
Wiley is a New York-based Nigerian American visual artist known for implementing western ideals of style in his hyperrealist portraits of urban Black and brown men against floral backgrounds, and Sherald, an up-and-coming Baltimore-based artist known for using gray skin tones for her subjects, as well as painting cultured portraits of Black women.