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.
— Christian Datoc (@TocRadio) February 12, 2018
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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
Twitter was quick to point out the sharp differences between subject and painting.
LOVE the new portrait of Michelle Obama pic.twitter.com/c4OXHhFOw6
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 12, 2018
This is a beautiful portrait. It looks very little like Michelle Obama pic.twitter.com/1CsRrWIJtN
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) February 12, 2018
“National Portrait Gallery”
Michelle Obama After Seeing A Portrait That Looks NOTHING LIKE HER & Barack Obama After Seeing His Likeness Painted Into A Hedge Of Shrubs…#Awkward???? pic.twitter.com/aNVgIjtHAM
— Deplorable????Rāzərbak (@MediaJuggernaut) February 12, 2018
It might look like them, but it doesn’t look like her. I think it’s terrible. But I’m not the critic who matters, I guess.
— Michael Ditto (@janus303) February 12, 2018
Well, as long as it looks like somebody.
— Nilay (@seriouslynilay) February 12, 2018
WATCH: You can actually see Barack Obama do a “yikes, that’s awful” double take looking at Michelle Obama’s portrait, then look back at his cool one. pic.twitter.com/2nF3ffmIUF
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) February 12, 2018
— Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) February 12, 2018
DISTORTED PORTRAIT LIKE THEIR LEGACY…
— Chris Fagan (@princeofpast) February 12, 2018