She also punctuated the pop art reference with subtle nods to blaxploitation. When you make any purchase from Amazon, and the many independent vendors, small businesses, and booksellers that partner with Amazon, via a link from this site, Culture Type receives a minute percentage of its price. She painted First Lady Michelle Obama’s first individual portrait in 2008; the painting, titled Michelle O, subsequently went on view at the National Portrait Gallery. To help sustain it, make a one-time donation or sign up for a recurring monthly contribution. Culture Type earns a nominal commission when you access Bookshop via a link on this website and/or make a purchase from one of Culture Type's book lists on Bookshop. Culture Type is a solo editorial project that requires countless hours and expense to research, report, write, and produce. That’s a future worth investing in, right? 2. Do you enjoy and value Culture Type? 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. 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. Mickalene Thomas enshrines black female beauty in portraits of Michelle Obama and Naomi Campbell and creates museum installations aimed at inclusion. “It is meaningful because it is a symbol of the time. Culture Type® participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to help sites earn modest commissions by linking to amazon.com. From the moment she entered the national spotlight, Obama has been a history maker and a cultural icon. 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. 1. The iconic image was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 2010. As Thomas puts it, Solange gambled that the two women would be artistically compatible. “There was all this excitement that was happening around Barack and Michelle being the first African-American President and first African-American First Lady, bringing people together about change and awareness. And, of course, whether or not we would be blessed with Michelle Obama as our FLOTUS. “When I was first approached to work on the portrait of Michelle Obama, it was at the height of Obama’s inauguration, and I could already see that Michelle was quickly becoming a major figure of both and power,” Thomas explained in an interview with Broadly. 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. A suite of Mickalene Thomas's lush, glittering photos and paintings of women went on display at the Newcomb Art Museum on the Tulane University campus on Wednesday evening (January 18). It only takes a minute. From the moment she entered the national spotlight, Obama has been a history maker and a cultural icon. Many Thanks for Your Support. 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. In 2008, not long before President Barack Obama's first term began, Thomas said she planned to donate a commemorative artwork to the New York City Board of Education. (Courtesy Newcomb Art Museum, the artist and Lehmann Maupin New York and Hong Kong), 'Portrait of Solange Thinking About You," by Mickalene Thomas, 2013, Color photograph and paper collage on archival board. Now that would be art historical!” 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. She painted portraits of Condoleezza Rice and Oprah Winfrey before see immortalized Obama. 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 Culture Type® is a registered trademark of Culture Type, LLC., and is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Kerry James Marshall Exhibition at MCA Chicago, In First Date Movie ‘Southside With You,’ Paintings by Ernie Barnes Fuel Connection Between Barack and Michelle Obama, Mickalene Thomas Art Rug Debuting at Barneys, Michelle Obama’s Viral Video with Young Admirer Opens Window Into Her Collection of African American Art, Recommended: Gary Simmons Talks to BOMB, Times on Collector Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Interview Anoints Jacolby Satterwhite, Martin Luther King Jr., 'Selma' and the Images that Captured the 1965 Voting Rights March, Black Motherhood and American Mourning: After Challenging Historic Narratives, Titus Kaphar Confronts Contemporary Realities, Yesomi Umolu is Tapped for Top Curatorial Post at The Serpentine in London, National Museum of Women in the Arts is Presenting First Survey of Textile and Social Practice Artist Sonya Clark in March 2021, Phillips is Hosting a Selling Exhibition With Dindga McCannon Whose Mixed-Media Works Center Black Women, On View: ‘Caroline Kent: A Sudden Appearance of the Sun’ at Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles, acquired by the National Portrait Gallery, America the Beautiful: Vision of Artist Lorraine O'Grady and Voice of Ray Charles Inspire New Biden-Harris Video, National Portrait Gallery: Titus Kaphar and Ken Gonzales-Day Explore 'UnSeen' Narratives in Historic Portraiture, Beginning in Late 1950s, African American Painters Known as 'Highwaymen' Captured Florida's Natural Landscapes. It only takes a minute. “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.”. She also punctuated the pop art reference with subtle nods to blaxploitation. The program helps offset a small portion of the countless hours and expense required to research, report, write and produce Culture Type's content. The exhibit opens Wednesday (January 18) with a lecture at 6:30 p.m. and a reception from 7:30 to 9. It’s hard to believe that just eight years ago, America was waiting with similarly bated breath to find out whether or not a certain senator from Illinois would become the next president of the United States. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin New York and Hong Kong. Please consider supporting its ongoing production by making a donation. 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. 'Michelle O' by Mickalene Thomas, 2008, screen print. The pale blue background of Thomas's print was based on one of Mrs. Obama's dresses, she said. But for New Orleans music fans there's another artwork of special interest that does appear in the current show. Culture Type is a solo editorial project that requires countless hours and expense to research, report, write, and produce. 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. Thomas said that Solange's mother Tina Knowles had previously purchased some of her artworks, which made Solange aware of her style. “I would love to do another painting of her, a real painting where I can actually sit down and talk to her. (Courtesy of the artist and Artists Rights Society ARS). All rights reserved. 3. TODAY IS FIRST LADY OBAMA’s 51st birthday. The museum is located on the Willow Street side of the Tulane University campus near the Audubon Boulevard entrance. Other questions:subscriberservices@theadvocate.com.

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