Former first lady Michelle Obama unveiled her official portrait Monday during an event at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
There was just one problem — there was barely any resemblance between the face in the painting and Obama herself.
The portrait was created by Amy Sherald, a Baltimore-based African-American artist who is known for infusing social justice themes into her work.
“Let’s just start by saying, ‘Wow,’ again. Let me just take a minute. It’s amazing. Wow,” Obama said after she unveiled the portrait, eliciting applause from the audience, according to The Daily Caller.
“What you think?” she asked her mother, Marian Robinson, during the unveiling ceremony. “It’s pretty nice, isn’t it?”
Michelle Obama’s comments were echoed by those of her husband, former President Barack Obama, who also had his own official portrait unveiled Monday.
“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,” Obama said during the ceremony.
But praise for the former first lady’s portrait was hardly universal. Indeed, many Twitter users pointed out the glaring issue — Obama’s portrait looked nothing like her.
“Michelle Obama is an elegant lady and the portrait looks nice. But clearly, the artist drew someone else,” wrote Dr. Eugene Gu, a health care columnist for The Hill, adding the tongue-in-cheek hashtag, “NotMyPortrait.”
“LOVE the new portrait of Michelle Obama,” said conservative commentator and Daily Wire Editor in Chief Ben Shapiro, who attached a picture of some abstract art.
Even CNN editor Chris Cillizza though the painting looked nothing like the former first lady.
The official Twitter account of the conservative Prager University cited the portrait as a good reason to “never choose an artist known for their ‘social justice painting style.'”
It’s tradition for former presidents and first ladies to have their official portraits put up in the Smithsonian.
Barack Obama’s portrait, meanwhile, was painted by Kehinde Wiley, a Yale graduate who is well-known “for his depiction of African-Americans posed in the style of Old Master paintings, regal, formal and filled with pops of color,” according to CNN.
“How about that? That’s pretty sharp,” the former president said of his portrait.
“I tried to negotiate less gray hair and Kehinde’s artistic integrity would not allow (him) to do what I asked,” he added. “I tried to negotiate smaller ears. Struck out on that as well.”
The Obamas chose Wiley and Sherald from a pool of more than two dozen artists.
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