The Obama’s Portraits Are Unveiled At The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery



Well, the official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama were unveiled today at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. And… Obama looks lost in shrubbery and Michelle’s looks absolutely nothing like her. Considering the ultra bad taste of these two… the portraits are fitting. Just sayin’. Michelle’s painting was done by Baltimore artist Amy Sherald, who is known for her social justice painting style. Yes, and her lack of reality as well. “Let’s just start by saying, ‘Wow,’ again. Let me just take a minute. It’s amazing. Wow,” Obama said after the portrait was unveiled. The moment was met with a gasp and applause. I may be wrong, but the Obama’s did not look way pleased to me. Meh.

All presidents and first ladies have their portraits done and hung in the Portrait Gallery. However, they usually actually resemble them somewhat. “What you think?” Michelle asked her mother, Marian Robinson. “It’s pretty nice, isn’t it?” Only if you are a revisionist. Mooch said that she and President Barack Obama interviewed several artists for their portraits and that she bonded with Sherald because of all the time they spent together. Let’s just say that must be a heck of a bond, because it sure wasn’t talent speaking to Michelle. The responses on social media are just brutal. Unusual doesn’t begin to cover Michelle’s portrait here. Sherald is known for placing less emphasis on realism than on shape and color.

Obama chose Yale-trained African American artist Kehinde Wiley to do his portrait, CNN reported. The paintings will be on display alongside depictions of the country’s previous presidents and first ladies. “How about that? That’s pretty sharp,” Obama said of his portrait. Well, if you like that ‘lost in the ivy’ look, yeah… sharp. Obama joked, “I tried to negotiate less gray hair and Kehinde’s artistic integrity would not allow (him) to do what I asked. I tried to negotiate smaller ears. Struck out on that as well.” Pity… but at least Obama has a sense of humor on this.

I’m certainly no fan of the Obamas, but even I wanted to see their official portraits. I wish I hadn’t. Those words pretty much describe their entire time in the Oval Office for me. Mooch made her portrait all about race. That figures and she said “lot more work to do.” She should have said that to the artist before unveiling this portrait. Cringe. Obama spoke too and said he believes politics is “expecting that the country unfolds from the top down, but rather that it comes from the bottom up,” which is hilarious to hear from an elitist like Obama. At least his portrait resembles him. Michelle’s takes artistic license way too far. Michelle Obama said she “was a little overwhelmed, to say the least.” That’s probably one way of putting it.

“I’m also thinking about all the… girls and girls of color, who in years ahead will come to this place… will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall of this great American institution,” Michelle Obama said. The former president thanked Sherald for the portrait of his wife. “Amy, I want to thank you for so spectacularly capturing the grace and beauty and intelligence and charm and hotness of the woman I love.” Does your wife know you are having an affair? Sorry, could not help myself.

Despite the gushing by the media, such as The Washington Post, I do not care for these portraits in the least and they are not great. I give you WaPo:

The two portraits render their subjects life-size, which underscores their historical importance and accomplishments. Although the artists worked independently of each other, and their works aren’t meant to be seen side by side (they will reside in different galleries when they go on view), they make a curious pairing. Both capture elements that their subjects carefully curated during their public life as president and first lady. A swelling vein on the left side of the president’s face, and the intensity of his gaze, suggest the “doesn’t suffer fools gladly” impatience that occasionally flashed from him, a marked contrast with the smiling and laughing photographic portraits by Chuck Close that have until now stood in for the official portrait in the “America’s Presidents” exhibition.

Wiley has included flowers in the background (another nod to historical portraiture) to reference elements of the president’s personal history, including jasmine for Hawaii, African blue lilies for his father’s Kenyan heritage, and chrysanthemums, which are the official flower of Chicago. Curiously, the president’s left foot is poised just over a bunch of African blue lilies, as though he’s about to crush them.

Sherald has depicted Michelle Obama in a dress by Michelle Smith’s Milly label, tasteful but not extravagant department-store fashion that recalls the first lady’s mix of couture and comfortable pragmatism. Sherald was attracted by the large, geometric patterns of the fabric, which recalls the style of Mondrian. But it is the bulk of the dress that makes a statement, all but engulfing the body, with little more than the face, arms and hands (with light violet-colored nail polish) exposed. The dress forms a pyramid, with the face atop, in a way that suggests a protective carapace, hiding from view the first lady’s body and some of her femininity, which were targets of racist attack during her tenure in the East Wing.

I think I’m going to barf… seriously. What a fitting tribute… stylized, unrealistic paintings that give homage to two radical Marxists who are not at all what they present to the world.

H/T: The Daily Caller, Chicks on the Right, BizPac Review, Twitchy, The Daily Wire, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Washington Examiner, Business Insider

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