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Did Michelle Obama veto first version of official portrait?

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Renowned artist Kehinde Wiley is known for giving a voice to the voiceless, replacing black figures for white ones in classical paintings as a remedy for the historical invisibility of black men.

But the power struggle was flipped when he was commissioned to paint Barack Obama and the most powerful man in the world was suddenly the subject of the artist known for elevating the unknowns.

During a Monday appearance during the week of Art Basel Miami he told a crowd that Michelle Obama vetoed his initial draft even though the president loved it.

The artist sat down for an exclusive interview with The Associated Press fresh of the heels off his historic Times Square sculpture and talked about his new artist residency program in Africa and his foray into stained glass.

The Associated Press

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