Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have been commissioned to paint former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama’s official portraits for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Wiley and Sherald are the first black artists commissioned to paint a presidential couple.
“Both [painters] have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a statement.
Wiley is known for his portraits that depict young black men as European royalty.
Sherald specializes in portraits of black women. Her work is currently featured in the Studio Museum in Harlem’s “Fictions,” a group show featuring 19 emerging artists of African descent.
Information from the Wall Street Journal and Artnet contributed to this report.