Obamas return to stage for official portraits unveiling

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama returned to the stage on Monday as their official portraits were unveiled in Washington.

Former President Barack Obama is now officially immortalised on canvas.

The 44th president and artist Kehinde Wiley unveiled his portrait at the National Portrait Gallery on Monday.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, SAYING:

"I was extraordinarily excited about working with Kehinde. And let's face it. Kehinde, relative to Amy, was working at a disadvantage because his subject was less becoming, not as fly."

"Amy" is Amy Sherald, the artist who painted the former first lady's official portrait.

Baltimore-based Sherald said she tried to capture Mrs. Obama's attributes in the portrait.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AMY SHERALD, ARTIST OF MICHELLE'S PORTRAIT, SAYING:

"Because what you represent to this country is an ideal... a human being with integrity, intellect, confidence and compassion."

Wiley, meanwhile, used flowers of Obama's Illinois, native Hawaii and ancestral Kenya to illustrate the president's path... and played up the role of chance in both his and Obama's work.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) KEHINDE WILEY, ARTIST OF BARACK'S PORTRAIT, SAYING:

"Mr. President, I thank you for giving me a chance, and I thank you for giving this nation a chance to experience your splendor on a global scale. Thank you."

President Obama's portrait will permanently join the gallery's "America's Presidents" exhibition while Mrs. Obama's will be on display through November.



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(Source: YouTube, February 13, 2018 at 06:12AM)

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