Kehinde Wiley Commissioned by Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery for Barack Obama’s Official Portrait

Barack Obama

Barack Obama made history as this country’s first ever Black president and to say he’s missed goes without question. But sometime in 2018, we’ll all be able to see his face alongside his predecessors as he’s tapped New York-based portraitist Kehinde Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait that will hang in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Following in Obama’s footsteps, Wiley is also making history as the first black artist commissioned to create a presidential portrait for the Smithsonian along with Amy Sherald (known for her vibrantly ornamented, grayscale paintings) who was commissioned for the portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama.

Widely known for his renowned work of Hip-Hop heavyweights like the Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, and more, Wiley will challenge what we have usually seen from these portraits. His style, which most often combines traditional European designs with hip-hop culture, will definitely add something new and unique to these paintings.

As we await the highly anticipated paintings of both our former President and First Lady take a look at some Wiley’s amazing work below.

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