The unveiling of the Obamas' official portraits this week rightfully has generated the criticism this racist couple richly deserves ("Official Obama portraits unveiled at National Portrait Gallery", Web, Feb. 12).
She also said she was "thinking about all of the young people, particularly girls and girls of color, who in years ahead will come to this place and they will look up and they will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall".
"Just saw the Presidential Portrait".
After being named as the artist, he became the first African-American to execute an official portrait of a president for the National Portrait Gallery.
"And I know the kind of impact that will have on their lives", she continued, "because I was one of those girls".
The former president was painted in a suit - without a tie - against a background of leaves and flowers on the edge of a wooden chair, and the former FLOTUS looked lovely in a flowy dress with geometric patterns and a halter neckline. Painted by Baltimore artist Amy Sherald, the portrait featured a flattened Mrs. Obama, with gray skin, kneeling in front of a gray backdrop. Sherald's painting was an oil-on-linen painting of Michelle Obama. The Yale University-trained painter was known for his previous work depicting African-Americans in the style of Old Masters paintings.
Long after Obama's presidency, his administration will be remembered through historic media such as those displayed at Smithsonian's gallery. The event was also significant as it was for the first time that not one, but two African-American artists were selected to paint the former POTUS and the FLOTUS.
But the response was even more brutal for Michelle Obama's portrait.
The 44th president's portrait stands in particular contrast to its predecessors for its background: while numerous presidential paintings inside the National Portrait Gallery are set against the muted colors of a dusty study or unfocused horizon, bright green vines lace up and around Obama's figure, with bright flowers peeking out from the foliage.