Nigerian artist Kehinde Willey yesterday unveiled the portrait of former president Barack Obama.
Also unveiled was the portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery. Michelle’s portrait was done by Amy Sherald for which Mr. Obama praised her for capturing “the grace, intelligence and charm and hotness of the woman I love.”
Of his portrait done by Nigerian-American Kehinde Willey, Obama said he’s “in awe” of the artist’s gifts.
While speaking, Mrs. Obama spoke of her late father, who she says “sacrificed everything to give me and my brother the opportunities he never dreamed for himself.”
She also said she was “thinking about all of the young people, particularly girls and girls of color, who in years ahead will come to this place and they will look up and they will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall.”
Both portraits are for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery collection of Presidential portraits and the Obama’s are the first African-Americans to make the cut.