Posts Tagged Presidential Portrait

Presidential

Presidential . . .

Portrait of February
(NYC 02 2018)

President’s Day is celebrated within this week of February when wildflowers in full prime-time bloom remain more than a month distant.

But blooms can and do flower in unsuspecting places. Notable is the now unveiled official portrait of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama II.

The politics of Fine Art have proven to be as newsworthy as the politics of American Politics given the reception to the portrait, painted by Kehinde Wiley, on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Long known for his inclusion of plants with symbolic connection to his sitters, the new portrait of the President is no exception. In Wiley’s own words:

“In choosing the composition and colors for this painting, I sought to create an allegorical index to President Obama’s life story — using key botanicals that reference his personal presence in the world. Jasmine from Hawaii. Chrysanthemums from Chicago. Blue African Lilies from Kenya.”

(Source: “Painting President Obama” by Kehinde Wiley)

“Excellent idea. Wonderful work.”

(Source: My own words)

I have studied History of Art since my freshman year at university. Portraiture has always fascinated me, from “A Portrait Attributed to Hans Holbein the Younger” – my senior essay – to personal study of masters of the genre: Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Alberto Giacometti, Frans Hals, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt van Rijn, as well as Amy Sherald, the painter who rendered First Lady Michelle Obama on canvas. Like them, Kehinde Wiley holds that same kind of artistic command, that distinctive manner that lets you, the viewer, know both who you are looking at and who painted the portrait. The inclusion of wildflowers just makes the finished work all the more compelling.

(Insert Image Here) *

— rPs 02 21 2018

* Postscript: I have not posted an image of the Kehinde Wiley presidential portrait here at WWV for reasons of ethics; copyright, specifically. You can see the work and read much more by following this link:

https://www.obama.org/updates/portrait-unveiling/?source=20180214_kehindewiley&utm_medium=email&utm_source=obamafound&utm_campaign=20180214_wiley&utm_content=2+-+On+Monday+we+unveiled+it+to+the+world

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