Baltimore artist Amy Sherald selected to paint official portrait of Michelle Obama

Baltimore artist Amy Sherald has been selected to paint the official portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama for the National Portrait Gallery, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal

Former President Barack Obama's portrait will be painted by Kehinde Wiley of New York.

Reached for comment, Sherald said she was unable to give interviews until February.

In a City Paper review of the exhibit "About Face" that ran earlier this year, critic Angela Carroll wrote that Sherald's "portraits exist in a dimension all their own."

"Inspired by American realists, her subjects are actively affirmed by their own brazen individuality," Carroll went on to write. "Each figure stands suspended in a highly textured ethereality, an undefined space that breaks linear assessments of time and place."

Though based in Baltimore, Sherald is represented by Monique Meloche Gallery in the Obamas' hometown of Chicago.

The portraits are distinct from the ones that hang at the White House, the Journal notes. Sherald and Wiley are the first African-American artists hired by the Smithsonian to paint a president and first lady, the Journal reports.

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