Unfortunately, it is not a part of the current exhibit. Here's Your Chance To Buy The First Portrait Of Michelle Obama As FLOTUS, Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. “I wanted to recreate this iconic portrait that could serve as a symbol of the time, and as a great reminder for people of the excitement that was happening around Obama’s inauguration as the first African-American President.”, “It was such a powerful moment in our history,” Thomas added, “bringing people together for change and awareness, and I’m so proud to have taken part in the celebration.”. Many Thanks for Your Support. Artist Mickalene Thomas discusses Michelle Obama and Solange Knowles Doug MacCash, NOLA.com | Times-Picayune Published Jan 19, 2017 at 5:20 am | Updated Jul 22, 2019 at 3:57 pm TODAY IS FIRST LADY OBAMA’s 51st birthday. 2. To help sustain it, make a one-time donation or sign up for a recurring monthly contribution. Mickalene Thomas, born 1971 Sitter Michelle Obama, born 17 Jan 1964 Exhibition Label Born Chicago, Illinois Playfully titling this screenprint of the nation’s first African American first lady Michelle O, Mickalene Thomas creates an implicit comparison between Michelle Obama’s youthful, fashion-forward glamour and that of Jacqueline Kennedy. A blog focused on visual art from a Black perspective, Culture Type explores the intersection of art, history, and culture. Culture Type® is also an affiliate of Bookshop.org, whose mission is to financially support local, independent bookstores. “I would love to do another painting of her, a real painting where I can actually sit down and talk to her. The artist draws inspiration from art history and popular culture, so her imagery is as likely to reference nineteenth-century painting as blaxploitation films of the seventies. Thomas's career is especially resonant on the eve of Inauguration Day 2017, because her art had a role in the inauguration of the current president. She wanted to mark the historic moment of the first African-American president on behalf of the school kids, but there were already "a lot of images focused on Mr. Obama at the time," she said. — Mickalene Thomas, Artphaire, Thomas further confided: “I would love to do another painting of her, a real painting where I can actually sit down and talk to her. From the moment she entered the national spotlight, Obama has been a history maker and a cultural icon. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. The iconic image was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 2010. MICKALENE THOMAS Michelle O Screenprint on Rives BFK, 2008 Signed and numbered edition of 40 Image size: 16 x 13 1/2 inches Sheet size: 25 x 19 1/2 inches Titled “Michelle O,” the 2008 Pop art-style screen print is a nod to Andy Warhol’s vision of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (also known as “Jackie O”). However, it’s perfectly fitting that the first individual portrait of the First Lady was created by none other than Mickalene Thomas, who has long celebrated the magic of black women in her work. Mickalene Thomas was inspired by the latter image when she made what is considered the first solo portrait of Obama, a print donated to the Obama campaign shortly before the 2009 inauguration. The program helps offset a small portion of the countless hours and expense required to research, report, write and produce Culture Type's content. We’re not telling you what to do here, but in the off chance that Michelle does one day run for office, her first-ever portrait will be worth far more. From the moment she entered the national spotlight, Obama has been a history maker and a cultural icon. In its simplicity and visceral power, the print captures not just the image of a person, but the spirit of an icon. The exhibit continues through April 9. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! Her 2008 screen print “Michelle O” features a graphic image of FLOTUS’ face in black and white. Please consider supporting its ongoing production by making a donation. 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The pale blue background of Thomas's print was based on one of Mrs. Obama's dresses, she said. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin New York and Hong Kong. Thomas, inspired by Warhol’s 1960s screen prints of celebrities, superstars and other revered idols, used a similarly piercing style between figuration and abstraction to depict Michelle.