13 February 2018
The official portraits of Barack Obama and Michelle Obama were unveiled at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery on Monday. The paintings will be added to the National Portrait Gallery's collection of presidential portraits. FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA said "I tried to negotiate less gray hair and Kehinde's artistic integrity would not allow him to do what I asked. I tried to negotiate smaller ear, struck out on that as well. Maybe the one area where there were some concessions was, as I said before, Kehinde's art often takes ordinary people and elevates them lift them up and puts them in these fairly elaborate settings. And so his initial impulse maybe in the work was to also, to elevate me and put me in these settings with partridges and sceptres, thrones and chifferobes and mounting me on horses and I had to explain that I've got enough political problems without you making me look like Napoleon. We've got to bring it down just a touch."