Barack Obama, by Kehinde Wiley

At first glance, this is a beautiful painting. Barack Obama sits gracefully nestled in a wall of
foliage, leaning forward on a chair, as gleams of warm, golden light reflect softly on his face. His
facial expression is stoic yet kind. The leaves seem both flat, like wallpaper, and yet, alive with
some leaves lying over the former president.

Barack Obama, By Kehinde Wiley. Artboard Review.

It all adds up to a slightly weird sense of depth and perspective. Then you notice that his shoes
don’t appear to be resting on anything and despite being seated, and the light source apparently
to his left, no shadow is apparent. He seems to be floating!

Realism is often overrated. Sometimes it is a trap the artist must break out of. So I’ll leave it at
that first sentence; this is a beautiful painting.

…How long are the arms on that chair?


Angry at the modern world for my own lack of taste.

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