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DeFrank

Barack and Michelle Obama's Official Portraits

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Just to be clear, these are "Official Portraits" for the Smithsonian.  These have nothing to do with the White House.  Those won't be out for another 6 months, if not longer.

 

Bill Clinton's Smithsonian portrait was pretty damned weird:

 

national-portrait-gallery.jpg

Compare that to Clinton's actual White House portrait:

 

William-Clinton.jpg

 

 

George W Bush's Smithsonian portrait was more subdued:

 

NPG_George_Bush.jpg

 

compared to the White House portrait:

 

o-PRESIDENT-GEORGE-W-BUSH-OFFICIAL-PORTR

 

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That's an overlooked point - these aren't official White House portraits. The Smithsonian has a history of more offbeat portraits for former Presidents. Check out this FDR portrait with tons of random hand studies:

 

blog_FDR.jpg

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2 hours ago, tp49 said:

I'm not a fan of either of them.  In Barack's the background is too busy and takes the focus away from him where I feel it should be, while Michelle's looks unfinished with no background to provide balance.  However, if the Obama's like them that's what matters.  They're art and whether art is good is a subjective analysis, everyone has their own opinion.

 

At least they're not the worst official portraits I've seen.  That honor goes to the portrait of Jerry Brown in the California State Capitol. 

Gubernatorial_portrait_of_Jerry_Brown.jpg

yikes.

add some make up and it looks like this:

Related image

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4 hours ago, CS85 said:

Just to be clear, these are "Official Portraits" for the Smithsonian.  These have nothing to do with the White House.  Those won't be out for another 6 months, if not longer.

 

Bill Clinton's Smithsonian portrait was pretty damned weird:

 

national-portrait-gallery.jpg

Compare that to Clinton's actual White House portrait:

 

William-Clinton.jpg

 

 

George W Bush's Smithsonian portrait was more subdued:

 

NPG_George_Bush.jpg

 

compared to the White House portrait:

 

o-PRESIDENT-GEORGE-W-BUSH-OFFICIAL-PORTR

 

I didn't pick up on this until I was listening to NPR this morning. It makes all the difference in the world.

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4 hours ago, CS85 said:

Just to be clear, these are "Official Portraits" for the Smithsonian.  These have nothing to do with the White House.  Those won't be out for another 6 months, if not longer.

 

Bill Clinton's Smithsonian portrait was pretty damned weird:

 

national-portrait-gallery.jpg
 

 

 

And, not to turn this into an Art Appreciation lecture (although to be honest, I'm literally writing this after my Art Appreciation class just ended), the Clinton portrait is by the equally amazing Chuck Close.

 

CC19.jpg

 

chuck_close-lucas_2.jpg

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18 hours ago, the admiral said:

My man looking like a ground rule double at Wrigley Field

 

"Andre Dawson!"

 

"What year is this?"

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Among Barack's portrait artist, Kehinde Wiley's other paintings are um... these for some reason.

 

MLuMIt2.png

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2 hours ago, Bruins said:

Among Barack's portrait artist, Kehinde Wiley's other paintings are um... these for some reason.

 

MLuMIt2.png


That's.... well, we all know what it is...

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Noticed a couple "It's Okay That Michelle Obama Doesn't Look Like Michelle Obama And That's Actually Good" thinkpieces in the wake of this because no one wants to say the black woman didn't do a good job painting Michelle Obama's face. One argument was "it's the face of all women, if you knew anything about her work you would understand that." Got me there, I guess.

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I saw the Kehinde Wiley exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum several months back and it was incredible. Obviously.

 

Barack's portrait is terrific. I don't really get Michelle's.

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