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. And, of course, whether or not we would be blessed with Michelle Obama as our FLOTUS.
Over the course of her time in office, Michelle has been depicted in all her beauty, strength and fierceness by artists including Elizabeth Peyton and J.Muse. 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.
Her 2008 screen print “Michelle O” features a graphic image of FLOTUS’ face in black and white. In its simplicity and visceral power, the print captures not just the image of a person, but the spirit of an icon.
“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.
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