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Artists behind the Obamas’ portraits also have some pretty incredible Instagrams – ANITH
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Artists behind the Obamas’ portraits also have some pretty incredible Instagrams

Artists behind the Obamas’ portraits also have some pretty incredible Instagrams


History was made and rules were broken when former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama commissioned Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald respectively to paint their likeness for their Smithsonian presidential portraits. 

For the first time, two black artists had the task of immortalizing the first black couple in the White House and the unveiling ceremony on Monday revealed stunning pieces of work from the seasoned artists. But regardless of how familiar you are with Wiley and Sherald’s work, you might not have known that their Instagrams are full of gems too. 

Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama against a sky-blue background is groundbreaking, but that’s nothing new for the Baltimore-based artist. Her Instagram (@asherald) isn’t as jam-packed with her own pieces but when she does share them on the grid, it’s breathtaking. 

Sherald’s Instagram is also the perfect place to find inspiration—from fellow artists, articles, or just one of those straight up good reminder type of quotes about life. And the occasional #TBT of course. 

And while she doesn’t share the in-between stages of her portraits, Sherald did share some behind-the-scenes of the Obamas portrait unveiling (one including a shot with the Tom Hanks). 

Wiley, who took on the task of painting President Barack Obama, peppers his Instagram feed with some of his iconic pieces, and thank goodness he does. If you haven’t been able to see his work at a museum, you can get a glimpse of his grandiose paintings on your smart phone. It’s not the same, but it’s better than nothing. 

Wiley also sometimes offers a peek behind the curtain, showing behind-the-scenes work that goes behind each large scale portrait. 

It’s still an Instagram account after all, so naturally, there is plenty of doggo content. 

And of course, when you’re an artist as celebrated and revered as Wiley, you’re bound to bump shoulders with a few of the greats. 

Their Instagrams belong in museums too, if you ask us. 

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Anith Gopal
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