Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama returned to the White House for the unveiling of their official portraits on Wednesday.
Barack Obama’s portrait features him standing in front of blank white background. Michelle’s portrait features her wearing a blue dress and sitting on a red couch.
The Obama portraits unveiled: pic.twitter.com/PTWUQelpnu
— Eugene Daniels (@EugeneDaniels2) September 7, 2022
Artist Robert McCurdy depicted Barack, and Sharon Sprung painted Michelle, according to The Associated Press.
The official White House portraits of former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have been unveiled in a Wednesday ceremony.
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 7, 2022
The white background of Barack Obama’s portrait is drawing some criticism on Twitter.
I’m sorry to say, but #sharonsprung portraits of @BarackObama and @MichelleObama are disappointing, C-. Barack background looks incomplete. It’s ALL WHITE! 🤔 Oh well…#Obama #Biden #OfficalWhiteHousePortrait pic.twitter.com/keIKsJsip9
— José (@radioheadarmy) September 7, 2022
Obama’s portrait is a wonderful likeness but I’m not liking that stark white background. Michelle’s doesn’t look much like her and seems stiff and amateurish.
— Maylene Movie Star (@overrhypocrissy) September 7, 2022
Washington Post columnist J.J. McCullough said the portrait “feels too unambitious for the White House.”
The other portraits are better, especially Michelle’s —they captured more of the couple’s personality.
President Obama’s with the white background is cool but feels too unambitious for the White House, while Michelle’s depiction seems kinda… frumpy and awkwardly “regal.” https://t.co/oSlJpMWI0t
— J.J. McCullough (@JJ_McCullough) September 7, 2022
Barack Obama humorously suggested that McCurdy declined to touch up his image in the portrait and “talked me out of wearing a tan suit.”
Obama: You’ll note that he refused to hide any of my grey hairs. Refused my request to make my ears smaller. He also talked me out of wearing a tan suit pic.twitter.com/CbE7eeLOXy
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 7, 2022
He hailed the governance of his former Vice President Joe Biden, claiming that Biden had improved the circumstances of the nation since taking office.
Obama to Biden: “The country is better off than when you took office” pic.twitter.com/riGtTJKVWS
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) September 7, 2022
It’s a White House custom for a former president to return to the residence for an official unveiling of his portrait as a guest of his successor.
That didn’t happen for the Obamas during former President Donald Trump’s tenure.
The White House press secretary didn’t make it clear if the Biden administration intends to host a presidential portrait ceremony for Trump, according to The New York Times.
“We defer those questions to the White House Historical Association,” Karine Jean-Pierre said at a Tuesday briefing.
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