Barack and Michelle Obama were back in the Public light Monday in Washington, the former first couple’s official portraits were unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
The artist chosen by the former president was Kehinde Wiley, who is famous for his depiction of African-Americans posed classical positions but filled with pops of color. Wiley was trained at Yale University the alma mater of the former president.
“How about that? That’s pretty sharp,” Former President Ombama reacted to the portrait of himself depicted sitting against a backdrop of green foliage.
Michelle Obama said she “was a little overwhelmed, to say the least,” after her portrait was unveiled. Her portrait was painted by Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald.
Unveiling of the ‘First Portrait’ follows a tradition and is consider to be a a rite of passage for most former presidents. The White House first Presidential Portrait was in the 1800’s acquiring full length painting of President Washington.
The Obama’s hosted the George W. and Laura Bush on May 31, 2012 for unveiling of their official portraits in the East Room of the White House. These are commissioned by the White House Historical Association.