Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

What's the secret political meaning behind the dress in Michelle Obama's portrait?

Former President Barack Obama right and artist Kehinde Wiley left unveil the Obamas’ official portraits at the Smithsonian's National Portrait in Washington The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery Unveils Portrait of President Barack Obama
Ray Hunter | 14 February, 2018, 19:49

The face is clearly and accurately that of a serious, stone-faced and thoughtful Obama, one who appears to be sitting and contemplating, "What do I do next?" She said she sees Barack Obama as a handsome man and Michelle Obama as a lovely woman - but that the painting of the former president is set in such a way that it invokes images of Audrey II, the human blood-eating plant from "Little Shop of Horrors".

Barack and Michelle Obama created history yet again as their official portraits were unveiled at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery among the elite white club of presidents in Washington on Monday (February 12). It maintains the only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House.

Wiley, who has described his own visual style as "bombastic, syrupy, and garish", is celebrated in the contemporary art world for his large-scale portraits of black and brown men and women striking heroic poses modeled on those of aristocrats in classic European paintings.

He quipped that Mr. Wiley, who painted his portrait, was at a disadvantage because his subject was "less becoming". Flanking their portrait, the former first lady and Sherald revealed the artwork before a thousand phone cams and a livestream.

Dr. Eugene Gu, a columnist for The Hill, agreed, tweeting: "Michelle Obama is an elegant lady and the portrait looks nice".

The Wiley portrait of Obama can be seen left, and, at first, it resembles an awkward photoshop.

"I'm thinking of all the girls of colour who will come and see someone who looks like them hanging on the wall of this great American Institution", said the former U.S. first lady.

19 killed, 47 Injured In Double Decker Bus Crash
The bus was on its way from Sha Tin racecourse to Tai Po Centre when it flipped onto its side while attempting to turn. Most of the passengers were horse racing fans, as the bus was travelling on a special route for horse racing days.

"Art asks questions and the artist answers them", Arroyo said during the segment.

The Washington Post caught up with Smith, who started Milly with her husband, Andy Oshrin, just after the portrait viewing. There's a lot to see if you let yourself look.

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

"It's one of those things that can, in a sense, remain stodgy unless you reinvigorate it with a new sense of urgency", Wiley tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep.

"Shout-out to my mother-in-law, who, in addition to providing the hotness genes, also has been such an extraordinary rock and foundation stone for our family", the former president said at the unveiling ceremony. As it is now installed, the former president's troubled, thoughtful gaze is fixed on a large photograph of labor leader and civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph picketing the 1948 Republican Convention with a sign that reads, "If we must die let us die as free men, not Jim Crow slaves".

These official portraits are not destined for the White House; that's a different gig.

Once a U.S. president's term is finished, it's tradition that their official portraits will be revealed to the public.

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