‘Oh dear.’ Much anticipated unveiling of Michelle Obama’s Smithsonian portrait is a real headscratcher

We’ve heard of artistic license, but come on!

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle were back in the national spotlight on Monday as their official portraits were unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

And the excuses are already rolling in for the portrait that most are saying doesn’t resemble the former first lady.

Obama chose Yale-trained African American artist Kehinde Wiley to create his portrait, CNN reported. The paintings will be on display alongside depictions of the country’s previous presidents and first ladies.

“How about that? That’s pretty sharp,” Obama said of his portrait.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik).

He joked:

“I tried to negotiate less gray hair and Kehinde’s artistic integrity would not allow (him) to do what I asked. I tried to negotiate smaller ears. Struck out on that as well.”

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik).

Michelle Obama said she “was a little overwhelmed, to say the least.”

The former First Lady’s portrait was made by Amy Sherald, a Baltimore-based African American artist known for placing less emphasis on realism than on shape and color.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik).

“I’m also thinking about all the…girls and girls of color, who in years ahead will come to this place…will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall of this great American institution,” Michelle Obama said.

The former president thanked Sherald for the portrait of his wife.

“Amy, I want to thank you for so spectacularly capturing the grace and beauty and intelligence and charm and hotness of the woman I love.”

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik).

Twitter was quick to point out the sharp differences between subject and painting.

The ceremony can be watched below:


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