Nigerian artist, Kehinde Wiley paints portrait of ex-US President, Barack Obama

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Barack and Michelle Obama have attended the unveiling of their official portraits at Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. His portrait is housed in another room of the Gallery, but under the same roof of those who show George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who once owned slaves.

The paintings were revealed Monday at the gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian group of museums.

The museum now holds the only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House.

Other people chose to poke fun of the lush background of the portrait.

"Let's face it, Kehinde, relative to Amy, was working to a disadvantage because this subject was less becoming", Barack Obama joked.

Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday offered what was perhaps the most freaky assessment yet of former President Barack Obama's official portrait by suggesting an artist included "sexual innuendo" in his depiction of the 44th president. President Obama is one of the most important cultural and political icons in USA history as America's first and only black president. "The Obama presidency will forever be remembered as ground-breaking and positive".

Sherald pained the former first lady in grayscale which was inspired by black and white pictures of African Americans from back in the day. The artists themselves, both African-American, have a history of tackling race issues - surely adding to the context with each the paintings were completed.

Wiley, who is a Los Angeles native, previously had a series of works featuring hip-hop artists displayed in the National Gallery. I can't tell him to do that to himself. Although Sherald selected a more subdued palette for her painting, her subject appears no less regal.

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Mr. Barack Obama, who was the first African-American U.S. President, complimented Ms. Sherald for her portrait of Ms. Michelle Obama.

While they were interviewing artists for the portraits, she knew immediately that Sherald, 44, was the one.

But there's more to Sherald's portrait of Obama than what meets the eye.

However, the Obamas are an unprecedented couple and they continue to break new ground in terms of representation and whom they entrust to represent them.

There has been some criticism, especially on social media, that the portraits are odd, and that Sherald's painting doesn't particularly look like Michelle Obama.

"I had to explain that I've got enough political problems without you making me look like Napoleon", he said.

"Shout-out to my mother-in-law, who, in addition to providing the hotness genes, also has been such an extraordinary rock and foundation stone for our family", the former president said at the unveiling ceremony.

Known for his monumental portraits of young black men, placed in historical poses and settings appropriated from Old Master paintings, Kehinde Wiley critiques the racism of art history while also commenting on contemporary street culture and masculine identity.

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