Barrack and Michelle Obama's portraits revealed at National Portrait Gallery

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Both portraits will hang in Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. alongside those of previous American leaders.

"The simple fact of her portrait hanging with those of other first ladies is a cultural and emotional milestone".

Amy Sherald, who painted the portrait, spoke about her own inspiration at the unveiling: "It has an abstract pattern that reminded me of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian's geometric paintings. [Her] dress is like a mountain", said Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo on Tuesday night on "The Ingraham Angle" about the just-released painting of former first lady Michelle Obama. President Obama is set against a riot of greenery that, according to the artist, charts "his path on Earth through those plants".

The former lady explained that she chose Sherald for the impact that her work will have on future generations of minority girls.

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Wiley said of the work: "I am painting women in order to come to terms with the depictions of gender within the context of art history". "Barack Obama is the real Black Panther".

"It's one of those things that can, in a sense, remain stodgy unless you reinvigorate it with a new sense of urgency", Wiley tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep. "The modern silhouette of the dress perfectly reflects her forward-thinking sensibility, and I'm thrilled that I get to be a little part of what was such a ground-breaking and positive presidency".

"What we're positing here is a new vision of the possible", Wiley says,"one which is inclusive, one that says yes to people who happen to look like me and one that will increasingly catch fire as we go on to inspire young people to imagine new possibilities".

Kennicott also stated that the art world "never agrees on much of anything", and that portraiture is "considered to be a bit of an old-fashioned backwater in the larger art world, so there will be people who sniff at the whole idea of making a traditional likeness of an important woman...."

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Several people took to Twitter to counter criticism that Ms Obama's portrait did not look like her.

The Obama's portraits will hang in the gallery, which has been gathering presidential portraits for 50 years, said David Skorton, the 13th secretary of the Smithsonian.

Sherald has depicted Michelle Obama in a dress by Michelle Smith's Milly label, tasteful but not extravagant department-store fashion that recalls the first lady's mix of couture and comfortable pragmatism.

"Shout-out to my mother-in-law, who, in addition to providing the hotness genes, also has been such an extraordinary rock and foundation stone for our family", the former president said at the unveiling ceremony.

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"Art asks questions and the artist answers them", Arroyo said during the segment.