Why the Obamas’ Portrait Choices Matter — ARTISTS






Amy Sherald

Amy Sherald

 

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley

 

Artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald to Paint Official Obama Portraits —

Barack and Michelle Obama don’t like to waste an opportunity, in word or action, to make larger points about contemporary life and culture. In that vein, their choices of artists for their official portraits in the collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery shine a spotlight on the state of American art. One is an established figurative painter, the other is relatively unknown and a possible rising art-world star. Both are African-American.