Every President and First Lady is immortalized at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery with an official portrait reflective of the administration.
Obama did the honors, doing the unveiling with the artist Kehinde Wiley who Obama selected to do the portrait.
But the unveiling of Barack Obama’s picture raised some questions.
Why is the president sitting in the bushes?
Obama is shown seated in a chair that is set within a bush.
Obama complimented the artist and joked about negotiating how the picture would look with Wiley.
From Daily Caller:
“There were a number of issues that we were trying to negotiate. I tried to negotiate less gray hair. Kehinde’s artistic integrity wouldn’t allow him to do what I asked. I tried to negotiate smaller ears. Struck out on that as well. Maybe the one area where there were some concessions was as I said before, Kehinde often takes ordinary people and elevates them, puts them up and puts them in these fairly elaborate settings. His initial impulse was also to elevate me and put me in the settings with partridges and scepters,” Obama said at the unveiling.
“I had to explain that I have enough political problems without you making me look like Napoleon. We have to bring it down a touch,” Obama said. “And that’s what he did. It is hard to judge something that is a portrait of you. What I can say unequivocally is I am in awe of — I am in awe of Kehinde’s gifts.”
According to Pitchfork they have included other ‘notorious’ figures, notably some famous rap stars and musicians.
Wiley’s previous subjects have included music figures such as the Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Michael Jackson, and more. Earlier today, Wiley’s portrait of the 44th President of the United States was officially unveiled during a ceremony attended by Barack and Michelle Obama, held at the National Portrait Gallery.
Maybe Obama wanted to look like a rockstar.
It’s certainly an odd posture with a look of unreality.
But perhaps Wiley has a joke built in there.
Because after all, wasn’t any problem of the Obama administration due to Bush?
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]