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The Obama Portraits Drew a Strong Reaction. What Did They Mean to You?


At left, the portrait of Mr. Obama by way of Kehinde Wiley, and the portrait of Mrs. Obama by way of Amy Sherald.

Left, Kehinde Wiley; proper, Amy Sherald

Typically, an legit presidential portrait unveiling at National Portrait Gallery could be a ho-hum affair, even with the normal pomp and circumstance. Not so for former President Barack Obama and primary woman Michelle Obama on Monday.

The artwork — Mr. Obama’s by way of Kehinde Wiley and Mrs. Obama’s by way of Amy Sherald — elicited robust reactions for his or her hanging use of colours and the backgrounds during which the Obamas had been set.

They don't seem to be in an place of business, sitting at a table or status in entrance of a row of books. The background for Mr. Obama’s portray isn't a darkish, cast colour, however moderately a lush mattress of shiny inexperienced leaves, together with his chair nearly suspended in midair. Mrs. Obama is painted in opposition to a bright-blue background, and she or he is dressed in a colourful get dressed.

It was once a “strikingly different” means by way of the 2 artists, in accordance to the Times’s co-chief artwork critic Holland Cotter. The artists themselves, each African-American, have a historical past of tackling race problems — without a doubt including to the context with each and every the artwork had been finished.

Now, we wish to pay attention your ideas. What did the portraits imply to you, in particular in case you are African-American or of African descent? Did their aesthetic remind you of alternative paintings and what did you recall to mind Mr. Wiley and Ms. Sherald’s means to bucking custom? What do you assume the artists had been attempting to put across — and do you assume they had been a hit? Did they seize the Obamas and their legacy as it should be?

Post your solutions within the remark segment. We would possibly use probably the most responses in an upcoming article. .

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