The National Portrait Gallery has two brand new additions to its collection of presidential portraits: Former president Barack Obama as well as former first lady Michelle Obama.
The portraits, unveiled Monday, are currently part of the only complete collection of portraits of presidents outside the White House.
The portrait of Obama, by artist Kehinde Wiley, featured him sitting in a chair, arms folded, which has a lush, green background.
Speaking just a few feet away, Obama joked that will tried to negotiate less gray hair as well as smaller ears.
“I’ve never had a portrait done of myself,” Obama said after the unveiling. “The ‘trust’ poster done by Shep was cool, however I didn’t sit for that will.” He was referring to the image designed by artist Shepard Fairey during his 2008 presidential campaign.
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Obama said he saw similarities between himself as well as Wiley, in that will both were raised by American mothers as well as having absent African fathers.
“In some ways, our journey involved searching for them as well as figuring out what that will meant,” he said.
Wiley described the portrait as well as the unveiling as an “insane situation.”
“When you look at This particular painting, you see a sure as well as amazing handsome man,” he said. “however you see the botanicals which speak to his story…In a symbolic way, I’m charting his path on earth.”
Michelle Obama’s portrait, by artist Amy Sherald, featured the former first lady in a seated position, wearing a geometric pattern dress as well as against a light blue background.
She commended Sherald’s work.
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“Let’s just keep saying, ‘Wow,'” she said after her portrait was unveiled.
Her desire to work with Sherald began through the beginning, when she saw someone who was “fly as well as poised.”
“She turned to me as well as said, ‘I’m actually hoping you as well as I can work together,'” Michelle Obama said.
Sherald, likewise, called the opportunity a defining milestone in her life.”
In attendance at the unveiling included former vice president Joe Biden, former attorney general Eric Holder, actor Tom Hanks, actress Rita Wilson as well as director Steven Spielberg. Spielberg as well as his wife, actress Kate Capshaw, were among the donors who contributed to the commission for the paintings.