The face is clearly and accurately that of a serious, stone-faced and thoughtful Obama, one who appears to be sitting and contemplating, "What do I do next?"
That said, these two quotes would seem to more than meet the burden of proof that Fox News typically applies to stories about how Barack Obama (and/or, black artists he favored) degraded the office of the presidency. Wiley and Sherald break boundaries as the first black artists to create official presidential portraits for the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.
The result is a work that embraces Obama's own personal story. Barack Obama image, painted by artist Kehinde Wiley, shows him seated in front of an ivy backdrop, while Michelle Obama was painted by Amy Sherald in a pale blue setting.
The former first lady reflected on the impact that the portrait could have on girls of color.
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For 50 years, the official paintings of America's former leaders at the gallery had been composed of white presidents painted by white artists.
The unveiling of the Obama portraits at the National Gallery was always going to be a huge moment, and it sure as hell didn't disappoint.
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama by Amy Sherald / Oil on linen, 2018 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. "'I've got enough political problems without you making me look like Napoleon, '" he said with a laugh. Sherald explained the archetypal nature of her work, emphasizing Mrs. Obama as a representative figure who will influence generations to come. The design is based on the American brand Milly's spring 2017 collection, which creator Michelle Smith says was inspired by a "desire for equality, equality in human rights, racial equality, LGBTQ equality".
"Art asks questions and the artist answers them", Arroyo said during the segment.
And Sherald doesn't make the kind of portraits you see hanging in boardrooms or above the fireplace mantle in the homes of the 1%. The greenery takes on the symbolism of his past as he leans forward toward his future.
After her portrait was unveiled, the former First Lady said she, "was a little overwhelmed, to say the least". As with many works of art, this was meant to be provocative ("I think at its best what art is doing is setting up a set of provocations", Wiley said in a 2015 interview). The mouth and the eyes and the strong arms that we know are present, but fainter. As it is also the Black History Month, the unveiling of the Obama portraits created a huge buzz online and Netizens couldn't stop praising the portraits for how beautifully it depicted their "favourite" President and First Lady.