Leave it to Obama to take an ordinary tradition and warp it something offensive. The unveiling of his official portrait should have been a dull, routine affair. Interesting to those who follow the modern art world, but not much of a story for everyone else.
However, discussion of the polarizing portrait is dominating social media. People are flummoxed. The portrait is odd, not what anyone expected. Whether you like the artist’s interpretation of Obama or not almost doesn’t matter.
The real controversy involves the artist himself. Kehinde Wiley, 41, has made a name for himself painting graphic images of black men and women butchering whits.
“It’s sort of a play on the “kill whitey” thing,” Wiley once told New York Magazine.
He has completed multiple works that show black women triumphantly exhibiting the decapitated heads of white women. He obviously wants to be shocking.
“Wiley states that his mission is to get some images of black faces in museums to inspire young African-Americans. Who, particularly in an art world so lily white, can argue with that?” art critic Ben Davis wrote in 2012.
“But it’s also, in truth, not a very ambitious mission, as if it didn’t really matter what the figures did or stood for. It allows him to define his contribution to social change as being about just getting his own paintings into museums.”
Obama chose a divisive figure to paint his portrait. He created a scandal for no reason. A lot of people are offended by Wiley’s past work, and Democrats are supposed to be the champions of catering to injured feelings.
If Obama wanted people to talk about him again, he’s getting his wish. It’s ridiculous that his antics are still affecting America.
A lot of Democrats love the unconventional portrait and don’t care about the artist’s racist past.
(Source: Daily Mail)