Barack Obama has chosen a gay artist to paint his official portrait

YouTube

Former President of the United States, Barack Obama, has chosen Kehinde Wiley to paint his official portrait.

The New York-based gay artist has built his career on featuring young black men and women in his work using a classical European style.

Michael Jackson is just one of the huge stars who have previously commissioned Wiley to do a portrait of themselves, but he has also done portraits of Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, and Ice T.

Work in progress. Oil study on linen for a Nigeria series of portraits. ???? @bradogbonna

A post shared by Kehinde Wiley (@kehindewiley) on

Studio session #kehindewiley

A post shared by Kehinde Wiley (@kehindewiley) on

But now he will get the chance to paint the first black President of the United States.

[article_ad}

After each presidency the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC teams up with the White House to commission an official portrait of the former President.

It means Wiley’s piece will immediately go into the history books and hang in the gallery when it’s officially unveiled in early 2018.

Ethiopian Jews in Tel Aviv. Alios Itzhak, 2011 Oil and gold enamel on canvas 96 x 72 in @thejewishmuseum

A post shared by Kehinde Wiley (@kehindewiley) on

"The Virgin Martyr Saint Cecilia" 2010 oil on canvas

A post shared by Kehinde Wiley (@kehindewiley) on

Although Wiley identifies as gay, he has spoken openly about the fluidity of his sexuality in the past.

“I’m a gay man who has occasionally drifted,” he explained. “I am not bi. I’ve had perfectly pleasant romances with women, but they weren’t sustainable. My passion wasn’t there. I would always be looking at guys.”

Meanwhile, former First Lady Michelle Obama’s official portrait will be painted by Amy Sherald.

The portraits will cost $500,000, which includes costs for the unveiling event and a reserve for future care.

Related: President Obama: Anti-gay discrimination is the same as racial discrimination

Comments

More

Cynthia Nixon is “so proud” her son has come out as transgender

Adam Rippon felt “so liberated” posing nude for ESPN’s Body Issue

Watch Lady Gaga make a surprise appearance at New York City Pride

Madonna pays homage to the LGBTQ community: “For me, Pride Month is every month”

These elderly lesbians have the best reactions to Hayley Kiyoko’s music

New Republican backed bill in Ohio is set to make things a lot harder for the state’s transgender youth

South African court sentences pastor who spread anti-LGBTQ hatred

Tan France reveals how doing Queer Eye has brought him closer to his family

Press enter to search