The Obamas Handpicked Two Black Artists To Paint Their Official Portraits

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The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery announced yesterday that Obama has selected artist Kehinde Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait.

Wiley is known for his portraits that depict young black men as European royalty. Imaginably, the New York-based artist will have a novel spin on the traditionally formal composition. The former first lady chose up-and-coming Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald to paint her portrait.

Former President Barack Hussein Obama has tapped Kehinde Wiley to create his official presidential portrait, the Smithsonian reports. She won a National Portrait Gallery portrait prize a year ago, and has a portrait in the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture titled "Grand Dame Queenie".

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Sherald's portraits of African-American models are known for her use of gray skin tones. We definitely can not wait to see the paintings of the Obamas; they're sure to make us miss them even more.

She added: "Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century".

Sherald has already made history as the first African American and first woman to win the National Portrait Gallery's Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.

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The Smithsonian has been commissioning portraits for former United States presidents and first ladies since George H.W. Bush.

Get to know the artists painting the Obamas' official portraits - On TUKO TV. They will be paid for their commissioned paintings through private donations. The museum is the only place outside the White House where visitors can view a complete collection of presidential portraits.

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture.

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