The internet is enthralled by the Obamas’ official portraits – ANITH
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The internet is enthralled by the Obamas’ official portraits

The internet is enthralled by the Obamas’ official portraits

A blessed image of blessed images.
A blessed image of blessed images.

Image: Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Getty Images

On Monday, Barack and Michelle Obama unveiled their official portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald. And as with anything involving an even remotely visual component, the internet made some memes.

Some were bad. Some were fine. None were even close to as good as the portraits. But Twitter will tweet, and tweet it did.

Some memers, who seem to remember someone named “Sean Spicer,” compared Barack’s portrait to the infamous tale of Spicer evading reporters “near” (not in!) the bushes. Honestly, this is a deeply unfair comparison that Barack and Wiley do not deserve, but where there are bushes, there are memes. For this we can thank Homer Simpson.

A few others noticed similarities between Barack’s portrait and Beyoncé’s iconic maternity portrait. It’s true that the two look similar aesthetically, but it’s far more likely that Beyoncé was influenced by Wiley’s work, not the other way around. 

For the most part, though, people were just really excited. Wiley and Sherald are the first two black artists commissioned for Smithsonian presidential portraits, so the unveiling was a big deal for representation and visibility in the art community.

And it’s always nice to see Barack and Michelle again.

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Anith Gopal
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