The Obamas’ official portraits were unveiled this morning in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The unveilings have garnered a lot of attention, mostly because of the artists selected.
According to CNN, “The former president chose Kehinde Wiley, a Yale University-trained painter famous for his depiction of African-Americans posed in the style of Old Master paintings, regal, formal and filled with pops of color.”
Mrs. Obama “Chose Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald. Sherald is another African-American artist known for her unique style, and her portraits also tend to underscore themes of social justice. She often paints black skin tones in gray as a way to take away the assigned “color” of her subjects. Sherald’s work is less about realism in composition and more about shape and color,” according to CNN.
CNN reports that Obama’s portrait will hang in the hall of presidents and the former first lady’s will be placed in another gallery.