Despite Trump and the Republican’s refusal to abide by tradition and honor the Obamas, today as the nation’s first Black president, Barack Obama made history. His official portrait unveiled at the White House will do the same.
Robert McCurdy, the artist Obama chose for his portrait, is known for his photorealistic oil paintings with unusually sparse backgrounds in which the subject holds no props, makes no gestures, and doesn’t smile.
Obama, dressed in a black suit with a grey tie, stands prominently at the center of the canvas revealing their measure of greatness. In comparison to the president that followed him, Obama is full of grace, wisdom, and knowledge.
The connection the viewer makes with McCurdy’s portraits appealed to Obama, he said at the unveiling, “in part because presidents so often get airbrushed.”
“What I want people to remember about Michelle and me is that presidents and first ladies are human beings, like everybody else,” Obama said. “We have our gifts. We have our flaws.”