Barack Obama Chooses Kehinde Wiley to Paint his Presidential Portrait

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With his portfolio including paintings of Michael Jackson, the notorious B.I.G and LLCool J, Nigerian American artist Kehinde Wiley, has been chosen by former United States President, Barack Obama for his Smithsonian Gallery Portrait.

Wiley, wildly known for his depiction of Black artists painted against grand backgrounds is one of the two first African American artists to be commissioned to make a US presidential portrait.

By applying the visual vocabulary and conventions of glorification, history, wealth and prestige to the subject matter drawn from the urban fabric, the subjects and stylistic references for his paintings are juxtaposed inversions of each other, forcing ambiguity and provocative perplexity to pervade his imagery.


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