Kẹhìndé Wiley, artist behind Obama’s presidential portrait – ajc.com

February 12, 2018

Arts & Culture, General, USA


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The official portraits. Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley. Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald.


Kẹhìndé Wiley is from Los Angeles.

Wiley was born in 1977 in south central Los Angeles to a Nigerian father and African-American mother, but didn’t grow up with his father at home. At the age of 20, however, he traveled to Nigeria to find him.

“After several weeks in Lagos, he found his dad, who welcomed him. But — like any Telemachus or Luke Skywalker — Wiley, who was born in Los Angeles and lives in Brooklyn, was also looking for a sense of belonging, and his homecoming was not as seamless as he had dreamed,” the New Yorker reported in 2008. “Still, the place has a pull on him. In December, he attended his half sister’s wedding, in the city of Uyo. He brought his mother, who had not seen his father in thirty years.”

Today, Wiley resides in Brooklyn.

He and Amy Sherald are the first African-Americans to be commissioned to paint official portraits.

Hand-picked by the Obamas, Wiley and Sherald are the first-ever African-Americans to be commissioned by the gallery to paint the official portraits. The Obamas looked at the portfolios of more than two dozen artists before deciding on Wiley and Sherald.


Read more about Kẹhìndé at:


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution





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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018. 8:33 P.M. [GMT]



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4 Comments on “Kẹhìndé Wiley, artist behind Obama’s presidential portrait – ajc.com”

  1. Teslim Opemipo Omipidan Says:

    Wao! Omokehinde has made history and I’m really happy for him and his family. Thanks for sharing his story, our dear mother Adenle.

    Liked by 1 person



    This is another positive input to history from the black race onto humanity. I am particularly glad that the great man of history from Kenyan roots has reason to patronize someone from my Yoruba stock, to tell the future about himself through skillful painting and art-craft for delivery in portrait.



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