Nigerian artist Kehinde Wiley gets picked by Barack Obama to paint his official portrait (photos)

Former United States president, Barack Obama, has made an inspiring decision to choose a Nigerian artist to paint his official portrait.

Obama chose the artist following the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery tradition that started during George Bush’s tenure. The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery commissions an artist to create a portrait of the president and first lady after their tenure.

Kehinde Wiley is genius artist known for black street culture with European classical paintings. The New-York based artist has painted Ice T as Emperor Napoleon by David and rapper LL Cool J as John Singer Sargent.

Wiley was born to a Yoruba father and an African-American mother in Los Angeles, California, 1977. He earned his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA from Yale University, school of art.

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In an interview with BBC in 2012, the Yale graduate had expressed interest in painting the former president.

He said: "I think it would be really interesting to paint Obama. I've done several studies in the past, I've sort of worked out different strategies about how that would be, but it's a very curious possibility. We'll see where that goes."

Former first lady, Michelle Obama, selected a popular Baltimore artist identified as, Amy Sherald, to paint her own portrait.

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Sherald is famous for her works of African-Americans in challenging stereotypes through life-sized paintings.

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