The huge line of cars to leave Burning Man | Flashes – The Post

Wednesday at the White House, the official residence of the President of the United States in Washington, were presented portraits of former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. The custom provides that two “official portraits” each be dedicated to former presidents and first ladies: the first two they are usually presented at the end of the presidential term and exhibited at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery; the other two are presented later in a ceremony at the White House organized by the incumbent presidents, and are then exhibited in the corridors and rooms of the presidential residence. This year, therefore, it was hosted by current President Joe Biden – who was Obama’s deputy during his two terms (from 2009 to 2017) – and by First Lady Jill Biden.

(AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

The portraits presentation ceremony is one tradition of the White House that has existed since 1978 and to which presidents and former presidents usually show a lot of affection. However, it had been rejected during the years of Donald Trump’s presidency, who had decided not to organize the ceremony: Barack and Michelle Obama thus returned to the White House for the first time since 2017, when Barack Obama’s term as president ended. The ceremony was last held in 2012, when Obama hosted former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.

The portraits were commissioned by the White House Historical Association, which has financed them since 1965. Two different artists were chosen for the two portraits: Sharon Sprung for Michelle Obama and Robert McCurdy for Barack Obama. The first said he had employed 9 months to make the portrait, the second said that usually his works need more than a year to be completed.

McCurdy is an artist known for his very realistic oil portraits, which almost look like photographs, and Obama took advantage of this peculiarity to joke about his own flaws that emerge from the work: “What I love about Robert’s works is that he portrays the people exactly as they are… for better or for worse, ”he said wryly in his speech. He then continued with the jokes, saying that McCurdy would refuse not to show his white hair and make his ears smaller, and generally kept a very playful tone throughout the speech.

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The huge line of cars to leave Burning Man | Flashes – The Post

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