Obamas Portrait Is Unlike Any Before It Heres Why The Artist Painted It That Way
Some people were caught off guard by the colorful portrait of Barack Obama unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery on Monday, but artist Kehinde Wiley’s explanation of the significance of certain aspects of the painting adds a much deeper meaning.
“Over the course of the past year, I have had the life-changing honor of painting President Obama’s portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery,” Wiley wrote in an email for the Obama Foundation.
“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,” Wiley wrote of the flowers scattered behind Obama in the painting. “Jasmine from Hawaii. Chrysanthemums from Chicago. Blue African Lilies from Kenya.”
“And the nature of the president’s pose is not sword-wielding or swashbuckling,” he added. “It’s contemplative. Humble. Open to the world in its possibilities. A man of the people.” – READ MORE
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