Obama portraits unveiled at National Portrait Gallery

President Barack Obama gives Michelle Obama a kiss as they wait for President-elect Donald Trump and wife Melania at the White House before the inauguration

Barack and Michelle Obama's official portraits were unveiled this week at the Smithsonian National Portrait Museum in Washington DC, where they will hang along with portraits of every past United States president.

There was stunned reaction from onlookers as the official portrait of President Obama was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery.

Mr Wiley is known for his work portraying African-Americans in the same position as historical figures, something Mr Obama said he needed to discourage for his portrait. In breaking with the tradition of recent presidential portraits showing the men in their offices, Barack Obama is seated among a sea of green foliage with sparks of color.

The depiction of Obama in foliage is meant to pay tribute to Obama's background, the artist saying the politician and father was "charting his path on Earth".

The woman in the official portrait looks nothing at all like Michelle, who the hell was the artist looking at when she was painting?

As the country continues their reacting to the unveiling of the Obama presidential portraits, some critics are left scratching their heads over Michelle Obama's painting. Emily Kuhlmann said, "To really celebrate the cultural contributions of African Americans in the arts and our society, in general, is really significant". Now think about what Michelle Obama represents.

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The unveiling sent the portraits, the artists and the Obamas viral immediately, dominating social media.

"We started talking and Barack kind of faded into the woodwork", the former first lady said. "Growing up as a kid in South Central Los Angeles, there weren't too many people who looked like me on those walls".

Take a popular former president, add a hot contemporary artist and a historic commission, and you get one of the glitziest events hosted by the Smithsonian that doesn't involve the opening of an entire museum.

"The narrative had to do with accessibility, the narrative had to do with a language of openness", Wiley said in an interview.

"He and I make different sartorial decisions", he said, a joking reference to Wiley's bold clothing choices (he wore a black-and-white patterned suit to the ceremony). "We miss you guys", Obama told them.

The former First Lady appeared to grimace as the picture was unveiled in front a crowd.

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