When I awoke yesterday morning, I was excited to see the official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama. Here’s my reaction.
I LOVE them, but is it bad that I don't love these portraits (at first glance). I'll go read up on the symbolism in the portraits and my first impression may evolve!
— Tiffany Willis (@tiffany_willis) February 12, 2018
Everybody’s a farking critic, even me, and I can’t draw a straight line.
You know whose opinion really matters, though? Our amazing former president and his beautiful wife.
Here’s a video of the Obamas’ reaction to their portraits.
WATCH: The Obamas attend the unveiling of their official portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald https://t.co/nRIsyUPOIl via @ReutersTV pic.twitter.com/Ddfe09OOFn
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) February 12, 2018
As I promised, I immediately went to read up on the symbolism in the portraits. Here’s what I found.
The symbolism behind Pres. Obama’s portrait:
The flowers seen in the background of the former president’s portrait do have symbolic meanings. The chrysanthemums are the official flower of Chicago, where he began his political career. His childhood home of Hawaii is represented through jasmine, and African blue lilies serve as a nod to his late Kenyan-born father, Barack Obama, Sr.
Yeah. I like that. A LOT.
The symbolism behind Michelle Obama’s portrait:
Baltimore-based artist Sherald’s interpretation of the ex-executive mansion resident features gray skin tones, a hallmark of the majority of her paintings. Michelle Obama, 54, is seen wearing a dress by fashion designer Michelle Smith’s label, Milly.
“What you represent to this country is an ideal: a human being with integrity, intellect, confidence, and compassion,” Sherald said of Michelle Obama. The artist said she aspired through her painting to show “a message of humanity.”
I like that, too. I especially like that the Obamas made sure that their portraits were done by artists of color. I’m excited to see the portraits in person on my next trip to D.C.
Barack Obama says Michelle's painting captures her 'hotness' — check out the Obamas' official portraits #ThinkingInColor pic.twitter.com/2BPIAdyQjL
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 12, 2018