The official portraits of the Obamas were unveiled today to much buzz and criticism. The artist who painted Barack Obama’s portrait is Kehinde Wiley, a well-known, far-left gay painter whose work is racially charged. Anyone with eyes can see Wiley uses race as his main subject. The New York Times pontificated endlessly about his edgy and important work highlighting injustice.
“He redresses the absence of nonwhite faces in museum masterpieces, ‘using the power of images to remedy the historical invisibility of black men and women,’ as Eugenie Tsai, the curator of the Brooklyn Museum show, observes in the accompanying catalog,” the Times wrote.
Wiley’s shtick appears to be taking famous paintings and recreating them with black people in order to represent blacks in Western masterpieces. (This, of course, begs the question of whether Wiley thinks white people are underrepresented in Asian art or in African art where very few white people are depicted.) His version of “Judith Beheading Holofernes” is raising eyebrows on social media.