Obamas’ portrait artist also painted pieces featuring black women holding white severed heads

The recently released official portraits of former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are, to put it mildly, unusual to say the least, but it turns out they’re quite innocuous compared to some other paintings by the same artist, Kehinde Wiley.

Former President Barack Obama, right, and Artist Kehinde Wiley, left, unveil Obama’s official portrait at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Paintings of black women holding the severed heads of white women.

Although the painting above is reportedly called “Judith and Holofernes,” the race choices here are obviously more than coincidental. “It’s sort of a play on the ‘kill whitey’ thing,” Wiley told New York Magazine.

According to MRCtv:

This particular painting is called “Judith and Holofernes,” which refers to a story from the apocryphal Book of Judith which inspired a whole bunch of art during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. While the original story did involve a woman whacking off a guy’s head, Wiley’s choice to use a black woman holding a dead white person’s severed head is clearly a deliberate one.

Apocryphal myths or not, Wiley apparently loved paining pictures of black women holding the severed heads of white women:


Which begs the question, of course, don’t they at least vet these people a little bit? On the other hand, they probably knew full well what was coming from Wiley’s twisted brush but now that Obama is out of office the radical can finally come out.

Apparently Obama is a fan.

“What I was always struck by when I saw [Wiley’s] portraits was the degree to which they challenged our ideas of power and privilege,” said the former president, because interracial decapitating is, well, certainly, uh, challenging…

While the artist has lots of other work that doesn’t involve severed heads, these certainly are more than a little cause for concern. I mean, imagine if the roles had been reversed. Think anyone would be upset?

Then again, now we know where Kathy Griffin got her inspiration!


Needless to say, Twitter had a lot to say about Obama’s portrait artist choice.



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