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Kehinde Wiley Emerges as Barack Obama’s Pick to Paint Presidential Portrait

Former US President Barack Obama has handpicked artist Kehinde Wiley to paint his official Presidential portrait, Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announced.

Kehinde Wiley is a New York-based portrait painter who is known for his highly naturalistic paintings of black people in heroic poses.

Former first lady Michelle Obama also selected African-American artist Amy Sherald to paint her portrait.

The Obamas’ portraits will be unveiled in early 2018, and will become an addition to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

Sherald is the first woman to win first place in the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, which she won in 2016.

Kehinde Wiley was born in 1977 to a Nigerian father and an African-American mother.

Photo Credit: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

 

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