Baltimore painter Amy Sherald along with New York’s Kehinde Wiley have been chosen to paint Michelle Obama and Barack Obama’s portraits respectively for the National Portrait Gallery.
This is not Sherald’s first portrait at the gallery, she won the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition with her work Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance). That carried with it a $25,000 prize. The work of art is now touring the country. It should also be noted that she was the first woman to win the prize in the history of the competition.
In a 2016 story that was published in Baltimore, Sherald talked about how her work had changed from self-reflective and romanticized to a style in which she emulated old masters.
“I’d go through all these art books and look at technique, but not necessarily see my story represented,” she said. According to her, the dream was for people “to look at a black child and see themselves. I want my paintings to take you to a different space in reality, and allow you to recognize yourself,” she stated. “That’s the magic that I want all of my paintings to have.”
The new portraits of the Obamas will be put on display next year.