Kehinde Wiley Obama Portrait

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barack obama kehinde wiley portrait
Barack Obama, 2018, Kehinde Wiley

Meme of Kehinde Wiley’s Obama Portrait

There is a meme going around twitter that likens the Barack Obama portrait , by the artist Kehinde Wiley, to a scene from the Simpson’s where Homer is backing into a shrub. It’s interesting in that it highlights an essential element of the portrait : the living plant life that makes up the background.

ecce homo kehinde wiley portrait
Ecce Homo, 2012, Kehinde Wiley

Wiley almost always places his sitters on a flat patterned background. In this portrait he has brought the background to life. When you think about what Obama has represented in American history this visual play is quite powerful.