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Obama chooses gay artist Kehinde Wiley to paint official portrait

Obama chooses gay artist Kehinde Wiley to paint official portrait”

Barrack Obama has selected New-York based Nigerian artist, Kehinde Wiley, to paint his official portrait.

The portraits will be unveiled at the museum in early 2018.

Both artists are celebrated for their mythic and buoyant depictions of black subjects.

Kehinde Wiley is best known for his style presenting modern Black artists in grand settings.

The Smithsonian has been commissioning portraits for former USA presidents and first ladies since George H.W. Bush.

Kehinde Wiley was born in 1977 to a Nigerian father and an African-American mother.

The portraits at the Chinatown gallery are one of two pairs made for former presidents and first ladies-the other set resides at the White House, which is not as publicly accessible.

His rich, highly saturated colour palette and his use of decorative patterns complement his realistic, yet expressive, likenesses.

He said: "I think it would be really interesting to paint Obama".

He's painted the likes of Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Ice T, and Michael Jackson in his career. Amy Sherald, first-prize victor of the Portrait Gallery's 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, has been chosen to paint Mrs. Obama.

He added: "The reality of Barack Obama being the president of the United States-quite possibly the most powerful nation in the world-means that the image of power is completely new for an entire generation of not only black American kids, but every population group in this nation". Out of more than 2,500 entries, Sherald's oil painting "Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance)" won first place in the Portrait Gallery's 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.



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