The Obamas unveil their not-so-traditional official portraits

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Presidential portraits in the US have always followed a certain theme. They are usually formal, old and of course, white. Quite recently, this absolutely changed after former US President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama unveiled their official presidential portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Just like Obama’s presidency, the portraits broke norms and traditions to represent a rather refreshing break from the past. Michelle’s portrait was created by an artist named Amy Sherald who in her work has reprinted a fashion-forward, calm and composed first lady; while the portrait of America’s ex-President was done by Kehinde Wiley, who depicted a focused, accessible president with references to his life in the background – the Africa blue lilies, jasmine and chrysanthemums – where the first is native to Obama’s father’s homeland Kenya; the second represents Hawaii and the third is the official flower of Chicago.