Kehinde Wiley Selected for Obama’s Official Portrait

by Andy SmithPosted on

Painter Kehinde Wiley was recently chosen by former President Barack Obama to paint his official portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Wiley should be familiar to Hi-Fructose readers: His work appeared on the cover of Hi-Fructose Vol. 36 and was featured in the exhibition “Turn the Page: The First 10 Years of Hi-Fructose.”

A statement offers insight on how his work has progressed: “Initially, Wiley’s portraits were based on photographs taken of young men found on the streets of Harlem. As his practice grew, his eye led him toward an international view, including models found in urban landscapes throughout the world – such as Mumbai, Senegal, Dakar and Rio de Janeiro, among others – accumulating to a vast body of work called, ‘The World Stage.’”

Amy Sherald was also announced as the portrait artist for former First Lady Michelle Obama. Sherald’s arresting oil portraits were last mentioned on here. Her work “began as an exploration to exclude the idea of color as race from my paintings by removing ‘color’ but still portraying racialized bodies as objects to be viewed through portraiture.” See some of her recent works below.

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