When it came to creating a spot-on, iconic portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama, artist Mickalene Thomas nailed it.
When I was first approached to work on the portrait of Michelle Obama, it was at the height of Obamas inauguration, and I could already see that Michelle was quickly becoming a major figure of both and power, Thomas said in an online interview.
I started to think of her as the Jackie O of our generation, and began pulling images from my research with Andy Warhols portrait of Jackie Onassis in mind, she said. I wanted to recreate this iconic portrait that could serve as a symbol of the time, and as a great reminder for people of the excitement that was happening around Obamas inauguration as the first African-American President.
Thomas, an African American contemporary artist who studied at Pratt Institute and the Yale School of Art, is best known for works that depict African American women in an aesthetic that evokes beauty, femininity and power.
It was such a powerful moment in our history, Thomas added, bringing people together for change and awareness, and Im so proud to have taken part in the celebration.
Inspired by Andy Warhols 60s iconic prints, this work of art will be on Paddle8s Prints and Multiples auction list until November 17. Bidding starts at $5,000. Thomas calls it, Michelle O.