Now, Wiley is getting ready to unveil the highly-anticipated painting.
The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery will present Wiley’s portrait in a special ceremony in Washington, DC, Monday morning (February 12). Both Obama and wife Michelle (whose portrait by Amy Sherald will be unveiled Monday too) will be in attendance.
For those wanting to see the unveiling of both portraits you can watch a livestream of the event here.
Wiley, one of the nation’s most modern portrait artists, is a hip-hop, LGBT-inspired artist whose best work takes contemporary black subjects and place them in massive pieces that imitate stylized portraits of European nobility. The 40-year-old artist spoke with the Guardian last November about his process behind creating the Obama portrait.
“I’ve shot all the images — we literally shot thousands and thousands. It’s been a really fun process in which he’s been involved — but I’ve already said too much,” Wiley said.
As for Obama, the former U.S. president served as the first guest for David Letterman‘s new Netflix show My Guest Needs No Introduction. During his appearance Obama recounted a story where he danced onstage with Prince a few months before his death.
“Prince asked Sasha to come up and dance and she’s an excellent dancer. Then Sasha pulls me up which surprises me because she always mocks my dancing,” Obama says. “I have dad moves.”
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