Presidential portrait draws a mixed reaction

Barack Obama painted against a floral background

Barack and Michelle Obama returned to the limelight yesterday as their portraits were unveiled at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. The event, which is usually seen as a perfunctory occasion, drew worldwide attention thanks to the portraits' striking painting techniques, which are a stark contrast to the traditionally formal depictions of American presidents.

Political commentators have noticed that the distinctive portraits reflect an unorthodox presidency that saw Obama challenge and push expectations of what could be achieved in office.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.