The official portraits of the Obamas were unveiled today to much buzz and criticism. The artist who painted Barack Obama’s portrait is Kehinde Wiley, a well-known, far-left gay painter whose work is racially charged. Anyone with eyes can see Wiley uses race as his main subject. The New York Times pontificated endlessly about his edgy and important work highlighting injustice.
“He redresses the absence of nonwhite faces in museum masterpieces, ‘using the power of images to remedy the historical invisibility of black men and women,’ as Eugenie Tsai, the curator of the Brooklyn Museum show, observes in the accompanying catalog,” the Times wrote.
Wiley’s shtick appears to be taking famous paintings and recreating them with black people in order to represent blacks in Western masterpieces. (This, of course, begs the question of whether Wiley thinks white people are underrepresented in Asian art or in African art where very few white people are depicted.) His version of “Judith Beheading Holofernes” is raising eyebrows on social media.
— Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) February 12, 2018
The original painting by Caravaggio is a depiction of the apocryphal tale of Judith, who saved the Jewish people from death at the hands of Assyrian general Holofernes by seducing him and then cutting off his head in his sleep. In Wiley’s painting, a black woman is holding the decapitated head of a white woman. Media Matters thinks white people should not be alarmed at this depiction because it’s just art, stupid.
“As a response to the unveiling of former President Barack Obama’s official portrait, pro-Trump trolls launched a smear campaign against artist Kehinde Wiley, claiming a painting of his symbolizes an attack against white people and that the artist ‘seems racist,'” reported Media Matters.
But on close inspection, it does indeed seem racist. In the story of Judith, the brave woman sees that the Assyrians are going to starve out her people and so she goes to the oppressor and tricks him and seduces him until she has the opportunity to kill him. In reworking this painting, Wiley chose his victim carefully. It wasn’t an Assyrian male he chose but a white woman. If the painting is supposed to mirror Caravaggio’s masterpiece, then the white woman is the oppressor and the black Judith is the hero destroying her. It doesn’t take a genius or even an art major to figure out what the artist is inferring.
The message is clear: not only are whites oppressors in history but also on canvas. It isn’t enough for minority artists to create art, they must remake the great Western works in their own image in an effort to erase Western greatness. All of this is in the pursuit of fairness and equality, of course. It isn’t fair the masters didn’t paint black subjects or weren’t black themselves and so Wiley seeks to even those odds by desecrating the famed Western works and pushing the “blacks as victims” narrative in riotous colors. How boring.
This race-baiting, virtue-signaling leftist is the painter that Barack Obama selected to paint his likeness. Why am I not surprised? This is the same man who couldn’t choose a normal pastor in Chicago but chose the one who was a black liberation theologian. Obama sat through 20 years of messages steeped in deep racism, anti-semitism, and anti-Americanism. Wiley’s worldview is a reflection of his subject’s views. Obama reveled in race-baiting throughout his presidency. He stoked the fires of hatred and division at every opportunity, never calling for calm or facts, but elevating minorities with grievances regardless of facts.
His choice of an artist who turns out to be controversial and divisive and heavily into black victim culture is hardly surprising or avant-garde. It is, quite simply, predictable.