Barack and Michelle Obama's official portraits receive mixed response

New official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama have received mixed reviews from art critics and the public.

Many believe Ms Obama's portrait doesn't really look like her, but she's pretty pleased with the result.

"I'm also thinking about all of the young people, particularly girls and girls of colour, who in years ahead will come to this place and they will look up and they will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall," she said.

Mr Obama is fond of the work too, saying artist Amy Sherald did a great job of capturing all of his wife's attributes.

"Amy, I want to thank you for so spectacularly capturing the grace and beauty and intelligence and charm and hotness of the woman that I love," he said.

However for his, painted by artist Kehinde Wiley, there are a couple of things he would have changed.

"I tried to negotiate less grey hair," he said.

Mr Wiley is known for his work portraying African-Americans in the same position as historical figures, something Mr Obama said he needed to discourage for his portrait.

"I had to explain that I've got enough political problems without you making me look like Napoleon," he said.

The gallery's curator says the portrait artists were chosen for to their boundary breaking work, which perfectly fits Mr Obama's presidency.

"Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley are at the forefront of contemporary portraiture and they are really pushing the genre in new directions," said Dorothy Moss.

They will be displayed in the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian Museum from Tuesday.


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