Twitter Has Thoughts About the Obama Portraits


The Obamas’ Official Presidential Portraits refer to the official portraits of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama revealed at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery on February 12th, 2018. The pictures were joked about online: Barack’s for depicting the former president in front of a leafy background, and Michelle’s for bearing little resemblance in some’s eyes to the former First Lady.


On February 12th, 2018, The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery unveiled the official portraits of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Barack’s portrait was taken by Kehinde Wiley and Michelle’s by Amy Sherald.


Twitter users were divided on the quality of the portraits. Twitter user Ira Madison III called the paintings iconic, gaining over 240 retweets and 1,400 likes (shown below, left). Twitter user @BillColona, on the other hand, asked if they were a joke, using the hashtag “#NotMyPortrait” (shown below, right).

Ira Madison III * @ira Follow ) ﹀ What Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley did with their portraits of Michelle and Barack Obama is iconic. The legend jumped out. Bill Colona @BillColona Follow ) ﹀ President Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama's portraits were just unveiled. Is it a joke? #NotMyPortrait

Fox News compiled a list of tweets criticizing the portrait of Michelle Obama, as many Twitter users felt that the painting did not resemble the former First Lady. Twitter user @eugenegu said the artist clearly drew someone else (shown below, left). Twitter user @BenShapiro tweeted an abstract painting, calling it the portrait of Michelle Obama (shown below, right).

Eugene Gu, MD @eugenegu Follow Michelle Obama is an elegant lady and the portrait looks nice. But clearly, the artist drew someone else. Ben Shapiro @benshapiro Follow LOVE the new portrait of Michelle Obama

Other Twitter users joked about Barack’s portrait by comparing it to the GIF of Homer Backing Into a Bush. Twitter user @WillMenaker, a host on Chapo Trap House, tweeted a comparison, gaining over 180 retweets and 1,100 likes (shown below, left). Twitter user @Russian_Market tweeted a GIF version of Homer backing into the image (shown below, right).

WMenaker @willmenaker Following tmyNPG Russian Market @russian_market Follow ) Sitting on a toilet GIF

Various Examples

Anthony Jeselník @anthonyjeselnik Follow This portrait immortalizes my two favorite things about President Obama. He placed furniture wherever. And zero allergies Gideon Resnick @GideonResnick Follow When I retweet myself abc NEW KT NELSON KrangTNelson Following spicy boy GIF chris person Papapishu Following ok fine here GIF 2:59 PM - 12 Feb 2018 make way for the percolator @chessrockwell Follow Pitchfork gave this album 7.3 Athletic Insider Dinger @atf13atf Follow

Search Interest

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