Last week, former US President Barack Obama unveiled his official portrait for the National Portrait Gallery’s ‘America’s Presidents‘ collection.
Beginning with President George H. W. Bush, the National Portrait Gallery initiated a process by which the museum would commission a portrait of each president, and beginning with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, this process expanded to include a commissioned portrait of the first spouse. All are privately funded and are owned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
For his official portrait, the 44th President of the United States selected artist Kehinde Wiley whose painting of the President measures just over 7 feet tall.
As per the Washington Post:
Wiley has included flowers in the background (another nod to historical portraiture) to reference elements of the president’s personal history, including jasmine for Hawaii, African blue lilies for his father’s Kenyan heritage, and chrysanthemums, which are the official flower of Chicago…
A swelling vein on the left side of the president’s face, and the intensity of his gaze, suggest the “doesn’t suffer fools gladly” impatience that occasionally flashed from him. [source]
Unsurprisingly, reaction to the painting online has been mixed. Equally unsurprising, are the comedic responses to the painting. If one thing’s for certain, the Internet is always ready with the retorts, Photoshops and memes in response to anything newsworthy. And with that, here are some of the funniest responses making rounds online.
This may or may not have been the inspiration for @BarackObama's official portrait: https://t.co/d9yJTYImm7—
Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) February 12, 2018
This portrait immortalizes my two favorite things about President Obama. He placed furniture wherever. And zero a… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…—
Anthony Jeselnik (@anthonyjeselnik) February 12, 2018
It looks like they painted Obama outside the White House behind the Oval Office #ObamaPortraits https://t.co/jFN1M96xnP—
AJ (@ajfyi) February 12, 2018