The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., has unveiled its official portraits for former president Barack Obama and wife Michelle Obama — and proving The Simpsons truly did do it all first, social media users have pointed out the painting shares some similarity to the famous "Homer disappearing into the bushes" meme.
The portrait, by artist Kehinde Wiley, was unveiled early Monday.
"How about that? That's pretty sharp," said Obama, who selected Wiley for the project.
Wiley's involvement marks he first time an African America artist has provided an official presidential portrait for the National Portrait Gallery.
"I tried to negotiate less gray hair, and Kehinde's artistic integrity would not allow him to do what I asked. I tried to negotiate smaller ears, struck out on that as well," Obama joked.
The 44th president said he asked Wiley, who is known for painting African Americans posed in the style of Old Master paintings, to avoid god-like or regal flourishes.
"I had to explain that I've got enough political problems without you making me look like Napoleon," Obama said. "We've got to bring it down just a touch. And that's what he did."
The depiction of Obama in foliage is meant to pay tribute to Obama's background, the artist saying the politician and father was "charting his path on Earth."
nice of him to honor his predecessors, the bushes https://t.co/A9XJOrDXCG— Ariel Edwards-Levy (@aedwardslevy) February 12, 2018
spicey pic.twitter.com/p0QCaLW3qk— KT NELSON (@KrangTNelson) February 12, 2018
Others inserted former White House Press Secretary and White House Communications Director Sean 'Spicey' Spicer...prevnext
Who knew President Obama was Team Luann? pic.twitter.com/m13SICi5Ze— Sam Herbst (@mrsamherbst) February 12, 2018
...while others compared it to a drunken tumble taken by The Real Housewives of New York City's Luann D'Agostino.prevnext
Is anyone else getting a Beyoncé vibe off Obama’s portrait? pic.twitter.com/FkcNVIVtte— Surlymom (@Surly_Mom) February 12, 2018
Loving this Obama portrait pic.twitter.com/zaGmqYAchQ— Eric Schmidt (@TalkingSchmidt) February 12, 2018
My take on the Obamas official portrait.February 12, 2018
Kind of wonder how Obama's portrait in the National Gallery will look next to Bush riding a shark while skydiving. pic.twitter.com/SG2KJjCEpq— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) February 12, 2018
The Simpsons, now in its 29th season, airs Sundays at 8/7c on FOX. The animated comedy resumes March 11.prev