Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Obama Portraits Revealed to Have Cost $500000 as Criticism of Paintings Grows

Obama Portraits Revealed to Have Cost $500000 as Criticism of Paintings Grows

Those unfamiliar with Sherald's other works were struck by her distinct visual style, but the decisions Sherald makes with colors serve a powerful goal and are present throughout her other works. She thanked their advisers, White House curator Bill Allman, Golden, and designer Michael Smith.

Wiley, an established artist whose work is held by prominent museums worldwide, has produced a characteristically flat, nearly polished surface, with intensely rich colors and a busy, sumptuous background that recalls his interest in portraiture.

"Wiley and Sherald are artists who are involved in the contemporary world of art, they are artists who question the tradition of portraiture and its limits, in particular its pattern of exclusion of minorities, of black people, of dark people, and they do so by focusing on those subjects who have been outside of that tradition, "explained Caragol". Flanking their portrait, the former first lady and Sherald revealed the artwork before a thousand phone cams and a livestream. Plus, how they gave recognition to the black artists who created them.

President Obama's portrait will be displayed in the hall of presidents, the former first lady's will be in another gallery.

The portrait of the former president was made by artist Kehinde Wiley, who is a Yale University-trained painter. This may be her goal, but the gray skin - while it isn't imposing - is so inviting that it actually underscores just how black each of her subjects are.

In his portrait, Barack Obama sits on a chair and is surrounded by botanicals, including flowers from Kenya, Hawaii and his home state IL.

Obama Portraits Revealed to Have Cost $500000 as Criticism of Paintings Grows
Obama Portraits Revealed to Have Cost $500000 as Criticism of Paintings Grows

"She bent down and looked at them and said, 'I painted this for you so that when you go to a museum you will see someone who looks like you on the wall, '" Moss recalled after seeing Sherald speak to young African-American girls at a gallery talk.

Barack Obama drew claps and laughs when he admitted, "We miss you guys".

"They are artists who are very committed to representing minorities, African-Americans, people from Madrid, coffee-and-milk people", he said. You can appreciate their aesthetic or look for all the deeper political meanings in it. A seatmate snapped, "They said 'We miss you,' what do you think they'd say?"

Wiley painted the ex-president against a signature lush botanical backdrop.

"From the greenery sprout flowers that have symbolic meaning for the sitter".

Obama, in a serious seated pose at the edge of a wooden chair, is enmeshed in a thicket of leaves and flowers that recall the tropical hues of the 44th president's home state of Hawaii. Intellectually, we all know that the White House was a white man's exclusive preserve until 2008. None were even close to as good as the portraits. Her subjects, including the first lady, are exposed, and open, and that in itself is fairly radical within the narrow limits of presidential portraiture.

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