Barack and Michelle Obama unveil two paintings of themselves in White House

Former US President Barack Obama and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, returned to the White House on Wednesday to unveil two official portraits of them at an event hosted by their Democratic colleague, current President Joe Biden, more than five years after Obama left office.

Former US President Barack Obama and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, returned to the White House on Wednesday to unveil two official portraits of them at an event hosted by their Democratic colleague, current President Joe Biden, more than five years after Obama left office.

And the artist, Robert McCurdy, painted the former president in a grey suit in the centre of the painting, in a realistic image on a white background that recalls previous images he painted by Toni Morrison and Nelson Mandela.

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A portrait of the former first lady in a blue dress is depicted in the Red Room of the White House in a painting by Brooklyn artist Sharon Sprung.

“There is hardly a person I have known who is more honest, modest, and braver than Barack Obama,” Biden said at the unveiling ceremony for the two plaques in the East Hall. There is no better preparation for the presidency of the United States than by my side for eight years.”

Large official portraits of America’s first presidents and women adorn walls, hallways, and halls throughout the White House.

It was customary for the former president to return to unveil the curtain during his successor, but the administration of Republican President Donald Trump did not throw a party for the Obama family.

Trump, prior to his victory in the 2016 elections and his succession to Obama as president of the United States, was a staunch supporter of a movement that claimed, falsely, that Obama was not born in the United States and should not become its president.

Obama thanked Biden, his vice president from 2009 to 2017, for building on the work they did together.

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“Thanks to your fitness and strength, and perhaps thanks in the first place to your belief in our democracy and the American people, the country is better off than it was when you took office, and we should all be deeply grateful to you,” Obama said.

He also thanked his former employees, many of whom are now working in the White House with Biden, but joked that no one had named a newborn “Barack” or “Michelle.”

 

 

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