Genius Nigerian artist Kehinde Wiley selected to paint official portrait of Barack Obama

Oct 18, 2017 |

Former US President, Barrack Obama has selected New-York based Nigerian artist, Kehinde Wiley, to paint his official portrait.

The tradition started with George H. Bush, in which an artist is commissioned to create a portrait of the president and the first lady after their tenure.


Obama’s predecessors have preferred to sit for 90-year old portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler, who has painted eight US presidents, but Obama chose to go with Kehinde.

The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery made the announcement yesterday.

Former first lady Michelle Obama has chosen Baltimore-based painter Amy Sherald to paint her portrait. Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald will be the first black artists to create official presidential portraits for the Smithsonian.

Kehinde Wiley is known for lush, larger-than-life portraits that overlay black street culture with European classical motifs.

Kehinde Wiley

He is believed to be an exciting choice for the presidential portrait.

Throughout his career, Kehinde has become renowned for creating portraits of African American men, including the Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Ice T, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Michael Jackson, and more

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