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Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Presidential Portrait

Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Presidential Portrait

Popular New York-based artist, Kehinde Wiley, has been chosen by former U.S. President, Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, to paint their portraits.

The Obamas' portraits will be unveiled in early 2018, and will become an addition to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

Kehinde Wiley is genius artist known for black street culture with European classical paintings.

Dressed in modern-day T-shirts and sneakers, baseball caps and tattoos, Wiley's subjects are immortalized in regal poses of kings and saints, rendered against a vibrant, textile backdrop. The museum began this practice with former President George H.W. Bush. He employs distinctive patterns to "complement his realistic, yet expressive, likenesses".

Wiley's works include the painting of American entertainers, Michael Jackson, LL Cool J and Notorious B.I.G., Ice T, Grandmaster Flash, Furious Five amongst others. Sherald won a National Portrait Gallery portrait prize past year, and has a portrait in the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture titled "Grand Dame Queenie".

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It added: "Sherald challenges stereotypes and probes notions of identity through her life-size paintings of African Americans".

Former President Barack Hussein Obama has tapped Kehinde Wiley to create his official presidential portrait, the Smithsonian reports.

Sounds like the flawless choice to paint the portrait of the United States' first Black president!

While they are not the first ever to paint presidential portraits (the White House commissioned black artist, Simmie Knox, to paint the Clintons in 2000), their selection still makes history.

"I'd love, love, love to do his official presidential portrait".

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