Presidential Paintings

The Cult of Obama Art

As ubiquitous as Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster was during the election, the proliferation of Obama imagery has only grown since his inauguration, writes Michael J. Lewis in Commentary. Obama’s likeness has become nothing short of the subject of devotional art. Take, for example, the Obama painting by Ron English: a melding of the president’s face onto Matthew Brady’s photograph of Abraham Lincoln. Writes Lewis: “Obama’s iconic status is of a different nature, an artifact not of his presidency but his identity—a youthful man of mixed race and remarkable attractiveness upon whom the greatest of expectations have come to rest.”