Barack Obama Portrait Artist Kehinde Wiley Will Reimagine Classic Painting

(Photos from left: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens)

Barack Obama Portrait Artist Kehinde Wiley Will Reimagine Classic Painting

The new work will debut in October.

PUBLISHED ON : SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 / 05:22 PM

Written by BET Staff

Kehinde Wiley, most known for his portrait of President Barack Obama, will create a new version of Thomas Gainsborough’s 18th century “The Blue Boy” painting.

According to the New York Times, Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens commissioned the 44-year-old to reimagine the iconic artwork. The piece will be revealed on Oct. 2 in the museum’s Thornton Portrait Gallery in San Marino, California.

Additionally, it will hang next to Gainsborough’s piece and can be seen at the gallery until Jan. 3, 2022.

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Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence said in a statement, “Just as scholars come to The Huntington to study and reinterpret our significant collections, with this commission we are delighted that Kehinde Wiley will re-envision our iconic work, The Blue Boy, and Grand Manner portraiture in a powerful way. Across the breadth of our library, art, and botanical collections, we are inviting perspectives that alter the way we see tradition itself.”

Wiley is a Yale University-trained painter and is widely known for depicting contemporary African-Americans in regal positions with backdrops that reference an older century.

(Photos from left: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens)

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