Barack And Michelle Obama's Official Portraits Unveiled And People Were Impressed By Them

February 13, 2018

On Monday, February 12th, the National Portrait Gallery unveiled the official portraits of former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.

The special event

The unveiling, which took place in Washington, serves as a formal rite of passage for past presidents most of whom have their portraits hanging at the Smithsonian gallery museum.


This particular occasion was one that was very much anticipated. The image of the former POTUS was created by a painter named Kehinde Wiley, while that of Michelle was done by Amy Sherald, another talented artist.

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The couple's reaction

Barack Obama was pretty impressed with the result. "How about that? That's pretty sharp," the 44th president said upon checking out his portrait. We have to agree, he looked quite dashing surrounded by a green foliage background.


Apparently, Obama tried to do some 'photoshopping' to his portrait too. He joked:

I tried to negotiate less gray hair, and Kehinde's artistic integrity would not allow him to do what I asked. I tried to negotiate smaller ears, struck out on that as well.


Michelle was also very pleased with Sherald's work.

Can we just say ‘wow’ again?“I have to tell you that as I stand here today with all of you, and look at this amazing portrait that will hang with so many iconic figures, I am overwhelmed to say the least.


She also went on to talk about how much of an impact this development will make on the lives of young girls, especially girls of color. They will be inspired whenever they visit the gallery and see an image of "someone who looks like them hanging on the wall."


The artists' experience

Amy Sherald is pretty much the person you'll imagine to paint the portrait of the former First Lady. She was the first woman to win the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and prefers to focus on the inner strength of her subjects.

The act of Michelle Obama being her authentic self became a profound statement that engaged all of us, because what you represent to this country is an ideal, a human being with integrity, intellect, confidence and compassion.

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Wiley, on the other hand, reflected on how far he has come as an artist and what a privilege it was to paint the first African American president.

I was humbled by this invitation, but I also was inspired by Barack Obama’s personal story, that sense in which both he and I have that echo of single parents, African fathers, that search for the father.

The event was attended by other notable names, namely Joseph Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Senior Adviser David Axelrod.



Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Gayle King, and Kate Capshaw were also in attendance.

READ ALSO: Michelle Obama Got A Sweet Message From Barack Obama On Her Birthday

Michelle Obama