Michelle's and Barack's portraits unveiled

The Smithsonian has two new portraits, of the former first couple.

Portrait-painter Kehinde Wiley explains his portrait of Barack: "When you look at this painting, there's sure an amazingly handsome man," he said.  "But there's also botanicals that are going on there that nod to his personal story. ... In a very symbolic way, what I'm doing is charting his path on earth."

OK, I'll bite.  Symbolic botanicals?  That's, like, symbolic of, ya know, his past...

Michelle Obama's portrait, by artist Amy Sherald, featured the former first lady in a seated position, wearing a geometric pattern dress and against a light blue background.

She commended Sherald's work.

"Let's just start by saying, 'Wow,' again," she said after her portrait was unveiled.

Yeah, I'm with her.  Wow.  I think that's a term of art employed by critics and by auctioneers at Sotheby's when unveiling a work. "Wow, again."

Her desire to work with Sherald began from the beginning, when she saw someone who was "fly and poised."

"She physically turned to me and she said, 'I'm really hoping that you and I can work together,'" Michelle Obama said.

"Began from the beginning." To be fair, that seems to be the USA Today writer.  But "she physically turned to me" is Michelle, just in case we might have imagined Sherald metaphorically turning.  And the measure of an artist is "fly and poised."  We can always learn from Michelle.  She must have picked that up at Princeton.  "Wow, again."

So many explanations come to mind, but perhaps Occam's Razor is our guide here: 1) Michelle could not find an artist, so she settled for Sherald because she was "fly and poised," or 2) Sherald could not work with Michelle, so she settled for a model.  "Wow, again."

And the Smithsonian is going to hang these.  Isn't that racist, Jim Crow, and all that baggage from America's history?  "Wow, again."

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre of a writer in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.

The Smithsonian has two new portraits, of the former first couple.

Portrait-painter Kehinde Wiley explains his portrait of Barack: "When you look at this painting, there's sure an amazingly handsome man," he said.  "But there's also botanicals that are going on there that nod to his personal story. ... In a very symbolic way, what I'm doing is charting his path on earth."

OK, I'll bite.  Symbolic botanicals?  That's, like, symbolic of, ya know, his past...

Michelle Obama's portrait, by artist Amy Sherald, featured the former first lady in a seated position, wearing a geometric pattern dress and against a light blue background.

She commended Sherald's work.

"Let's just start by saying, 'Wow,' again," she said after her portrait was unveiled.

Yeah, I'm with her.  Wow.  I think that's a term of art employed by critics and by auctioneers at Sotheby's when unveiling a work. "Wow, again."

Her desire to work with Sherald began from the beginning, when she saw someone who was "fly and poised."

"She physically turned to me and she said, 'I'm really hoping that you and I can work together,'" Michelle Obama said.

"Began from the beginning." To be fair, that seems to be the USA Today writer.  But "she physically turned to me" is Michelle, just in case we might have imagined Sherald metaphorically turning.  And the measure of an artist is "fly and poised."  We can always learn from Michelle.  She must have picked that up at Princeton.  "Wow, again."

So many explanations come to mind, but perhaps Occam's Razor is our guide here: 1) Michelle could not find an artist, so she settled for Sherald because she was "fly and poised," or 2) Sherald could not work with Michelle, so she settled for a model.  "Wow, again."

And the Smithsonian is going to hang these.  Isn't that racist, Jim Crow, and all that baggage from America's history?  "Wow, again."

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre of a writer in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.