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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Barack Obama hangs his portrait in Washington

Por sumily

Barack Obama was the fortieth in the United States. In the first days in office, Obama issued executive orders and memoranda against the policies of former President George W. Bush. First, it eliminated the prohibition known as Mexico City Policy, and called by critics as the Global Gag Rule, which stipulates that all non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive federal funds must refrain from promoting or performing services related to abortion in other countries. In addition, it signed restrictive measures to lobbyists and pressure groups, and demanded that government entities comply with the Freedom of Information Act in order to promote transparency in its government.

He also asked the US military to develop a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq and reduce secrecy practices in presidential records. He also ordered the closure of the Guantánamo detention center as soon as possible, with a maximum term until May 2010, and the immediate review of all arrests and proceedings against the prisoners held in this prison.

An African-American artist was chosen by the former president of the United States, Barack Obama, to make the canvas that will appear in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, along with that of his wife Michelle. This Monday, the Obama´s family presented the collection of their official portraits. The paintings that will be hung along with the rest of the ex-presidents and first ladies were unveiled, according to tradition, in the museum of the North American capital.

An equal collection of portraits of the ex-presidents is only collected by the White House, where the historical memory of those who have walked through its corridors and displayed the majesty of the site is kept. During the presentation of the portraits, Obama praised the painting of the African-American painter Kehinde Wiley, whom he chose for the job. The former Democratic president jocularly highlighted the artist as one of the leading exponents of plastic arts in the nation. In this regard, he pointed out that although he tried to negotiate smaller ears and less gray hair, Wiley's artistic integrity did not allow him to please him, so the portrait is a faithful copy of his physical appearance.

Obama's choice of the artist and subsequent praise contains a political message that seeks to criticize the current administration of Donald Trump, where the Afro-American community is attacked and racism is encouraged. The first African-American president in the history of the United States compared the journey of both, claiming that both had mothers of American origin and were brought up without a father, of African origin, so they had to face similar situations, but managed to get on track, one in the writing and the other in the painting.

On the canvas Obama is sitting on a wooden chair with a black suit and no tie. The fund is a representation of the places where the ex-presidents grew up and which he recognizes as his roots, Hawaii, Chicago, and the African continent. This is suggested by the shades of green and typical flowers. According to the artist, the background he chose for the portrait suggests the relationship that Obama maintains with his past and the identities that merge in him to shape his personality, which he also collects in his work based on the use of thousands of photographs. The result corresponds to a portrait that breaks the canons previously followed by his predecessors and is then shown to a leader more casual and flexible.