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Congratulations to Kehinde Wiley on his Obama portrait commission

Post by Evelyn Owen


The Africa Center would like to offer heartfelt congratulations to our Trustee, Kehinde Wiley, who has been commissioned to paint the official portrait of former President Barack Obama for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Kehinde Wiley (b. Los Angeles, 1977) engages the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, majestic, and the sublime in his representation of urban, black and brown men and women throughout the world.

Wiley was personally selected by Barack Obama to paint his portrait, which will be unveiled in early 2018. Its counterpart, a newly commissioned portrait of Michelle Obama, will be painted by Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald (b. Columbus, Ga., 1973).

Read the full announcement from the National Portrait Gallery here.

Portrait of LL Cool J by Kehinde Wiley
Credit: LL Cool J by Kehinde Wiley, oil on canvas, 2005. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; on loan from LL Cool J. © Kehinde Wiley
Portrait "Miss Everything" by Amy Sherald
Credit: Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance) by Amy Sherald, oil on canvas, 2013. Frances and Burton Reifler © Amy Sherald


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