Former US President Barack Obama revealed his official portrait for the National Portrait Gallery’s ‘America’s Presidents‘ collection just last week.
Beginning with President George H. W. Bush, the National Portrait Gallery initiated a process by which the museum would commission a portrait of each president, and beginning with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, this process expanded to include a commissioned portrait of the first spouse. All are privately funded and are owned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
The 44th President of the United States selected artist Kehinde Wiley whose painting of the President estimates just over 7 feet tall.
As per the Washington Post:
Wiley has included flowers in the background (another nod to historical portraiture) to reference elements of the president’s personal history, including jasmine for Hawaii, African blue lilies for his father’s Kenyan heritage, and chrysanthemums, which are the official flower of Chicago…
A swelling vein on the left side of the president’s face, and the intensity of his gaze, suggest the “doesn’t suffer fools gladly” impatience that occasionally flashed from him. [source]
I am not surprised at all with the reaction to the painting online. There are many comedic responses to the painting. If one thing’s for sure, the Internet is always ready with the responses and clever comebacks, Photoshops, and memes in response to anything worth noticing. Check out internets funniest responses below.
— Shoshana Weissmann, Sloth Committee Chair 🦥 (@senatorshoshana) February 12, 2018
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) February 12, 2018
This portrait immortalizes my two favorite things about President Obama. He placed furniture wherever. And zero allergies. pic.twitter.com/tuN3yJ2V7V
— Anthony Jeselnik (@anthonyjeselnik) February 12, 2018
Wow quite a presidential portrait Obama pic.twitter.com/GlvljHSBVR
— Chicago Reader (@Chicago_Reader) February 12, 2018
Edgy and graceful at the same time.
Perfect choice by President Obama. pic.twitter.com/IBTKYo4f8x
— Cabot Phillips (@cabot_phillips) February 12, 2018
Outfielders are going to have trouble with the new obstacle at Wrigley Field this season. pic.twitter.com/EEjRu8HOsb
— Dan McQuade (@dhm) February 12, 2018
Is anyone else getting a Beyoncé vibe off Obama’s portrait? pic.twitter.com/FkcNVIVtte
— Surlymom (@Surly_Mom) February 12, 2018
— Camilo Caffi 🇨🇱 (@_caffi) February 12, 2018
— Seinfeld Current Day (@Seinfeld2000) February 12, 2018
— Jesse McLaren (@McJesse) February 12, 2018