I totally agree with The National Portrait Gallery’s lackluster Michelle Obama portrait article. Why couldn’t the Gallery selected a digitial image more fitting of our modern first lady? President Barack Obama and the first lady are among those portrayed. It’s the first time Michelle Obama’s individual portrait has been shown at the gallery. The portraits are on view through July 2011.
The Portrait Gallery heralded the acquisition of their first Michelle Obama portrait in their “Americans Now” show, which opened Friday. But really, this Mickalene Thomas print is the first official selection for a portrait of the first lady? It’s a rather mediocre take on Andy Warhol’s prints of Jackie O. That’s what Thomas was going for, of course, in naming the portrait “Michelle O,” but let’s not fool ourselves: She’s replicated an outmoded style that is now regularly achieved with a Photoshop filter. Utilizing the imagery of pop art and advertising, with cheery, simplified colors, the image also shows shades of Shepard Fairey’s “Hope” portrait of Barack Obama, which hangs a few feet away. It is altogether devoid of originality.
My sentiments exactly.:
There are several options that could have been more suitable. First up: Annie Liebowitz’s portrait of Obama for Vogue. The Portrait Gallery frequently exhibits work from magazine photographers and advertisements (several of which are in the “Americans Now” exhibit), and Liebowitz’s image shows Obama in silhouette looking both regal and demure. The pose is not Kennedy’s – it is all her own.