After making a name for himself with portraits of Michael Jackson, The Notorious B.I.G. and LL Cool J to name a few, Kehinde Wiley has the chance to add perhaps the most famous portrait of all to his portfolio.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama has chosen the artist to paint his official presidential portrait. The choice was announced by the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery.
Wiley is best known for his stunning and expansive paintings that depict modern black artists in grand and noble settings.
Amy Sherald has also been commissioned to create Michelle Obama’s portrait. Sherald is renowned for portraying her black subjects in greyscale against a backdrop of technicolor and in bright clothing.
Both Wiley and Sherald are the first black artists commissioned to make a presidential portrait.
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. will unveil the portraits at some point in 2018.
In other news, Ai Wei Wei has launched his “Good Fences make Good Neighbors” exhibition in New York.
- Main & Featured Image (Left): Handout / Getty Images
- Main & Featured Image (Right): Kehinde Wiley / Brooklyn Museum