The Real Story Behind Michelle Obama's Milly Portrait Gown

Image Text
 COUPLED UP Michelle and Barack Obama

Image Text COUPLED UP Michelle and Barack Obama

On the morning of Abraham Lincoln's 209th birthday, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., unveiled the Obama Official Portraits.

Former US President Obama said his portrait by Kehinde Wiley, who is known for his Old Master-style depiction of African-Americans, was "pretty sharp".

Art and politics crossed paths early Monday morning at the anticipated unveiling of Barack and Michelle Obama's official portraits, commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery.

In the portrait Michelle is depicted in a sitting position, wearing a flowing white dress with geometric patterns against a light blue background.

Art historian Paul Staiti says the Obama portraits - full of color and unique concepts - are fresh and exciting in a field of generally staid presidential portraiture.

"I was honored to create a dress for such an intelligent and influential woman, who is also instilled with confidence, beauty and compassion", Smith said.

As in Sherald's previous paintings of African American subjects, Michelle Obama appears poised and powerful as she looks down on the viewer. "I tried to negotiate smaller ears - struck out on that again as well". As the painting was unveiled Monday, Obama said, "How about that?"

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Most Twitter posts described the portraits as stunning, although a few criticised them as poorly executed. In a since-deleted tweet on this, Hannity wrote, "Obama's portrait - a stark contrast to predecessors with inappropriate sexual innuendo". Michelle Obama's portrait, painted by a different artist than her husband's, was revealed during the ceremony as well.

"I'm also thinking about all of the young people, particularly girls and girls of color". "She turned to me and said, 'I really hope that you and I can work together.' " That's when "Barack kind of faded into the woodwork", she recounted, and she and Sherald quickly bonded with "that kind of sista-girl connection" and trust a successful portrait requires.

Inside of the exhibit focusing on America's Presidents, you will find George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and a lot of other portraits of presidents that look somewhat the same.

Michelle also noted in her speech what it means for little black girls to see her portrait hanging in the gallery.

Cillizza: How much of a social statement is made by the Michelle Obama portrait?

"The former first lady's gaze is steady and direct, her hair loose around her face, and her pose is framed by her bare arms. Attorney General Holder! I hear you're running for president!"

"Judith and Holofernes is from Wiley's most recent body of work and his first series of paintings to feature female subjects", a 2012 explanation of the work from the North Carolina Museum of Art foundation reads, The Wrap reported. The artists themselves, both African-American, have a history of tackling race issues - surely adding to the context with each the paintings were completed. Even during her last day in the White House, Obama wore a Milly blouse.

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