February 12, 2018

Chris Cillizza accidentally (I think) insults Michelle Obama.


107 comments:

Amadeus 48 said...

He needs to contemplate the healing power of "but".

Widmerpool said...

Oops! No opinion on its beauty but I had the same thought on its unlikeness. Other one looks like Barak though.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Cillizza, what a dope.

Big Mike said...

At least Cillizza doesn't think they all look alike. That's a step forward for liberal Democrats.

Fabi said...

"Historic Moment"

No cultish behavior or idol worship from CNN.

Quaestor said...

Chris Cillizza was too chickenshit to insult the artist, so he compliments the picture and leaves himself an out by observing that it doesn't look like Michelle Obama.

I don't know who it looks like, but she isn't among the living.

Rob said...

Is there something in the water in Chicago that causes people's eyes to be close together? See this and this.

Earnest Prole said...

It looks more like her daughter Malia -- which could have been a conscious artistic choice. Or as Sargent supposedly said, a portrait is a painting with a little something wrong around the mouth.

richlb said...

Ouch!

Gahrie said...

There is a period between those two ideas, not a comma or semicolon.

Quaestor said...

Back when the late Michael Jackson was content to be black, he made a famous music video called Thiller in which the singer transforms into one of the Undead. The makeup artist, Lance Anderson, used a similar slate-gray pancake to portray the bloodless pallor of the brain-seeking zombies of the African-American persuasion.

The alleged Michelle looks like she's just feasted on Charles Murray's noodle.

Jupiter said...

"HISTORIC MOMENT
MICHELLE OBAMA'S OFFICIAL PORTRAIT UNVEILED"

Yeah, that's right up there with Caesar crossing the Rubicon.

Michael K said...

Isn't that a Beinart gaffe ? Accidentally telling the truth ?

Susan said...

Looks like a pencil drawing by a high school student.

Jupiter said...

I'd have said, it's not much of a portrait, but at least it doesn't look like Michelle Obama.

jwl said...

Cillizza is negging Obama, he fancies her.

Balfegor said...

Entirely apart from the lack of resemblance, it just isn't a very good rendering of a face either. Shading on the arms is amateurish as well, or at least, in a style that reads as amateurish to me.

Regarding the resemblance, somewhat ironically, precisely because she is not a particularly beautiful woman, and her features are quite heavy, I would tend to think her easier to render than a great beauty, where the regularity and delicacy of features cause difficulty (at least for me). Maybe that shades into caricature, but all portraiture has some element of caricature in it, even if it is subdued. And the dramatic protrusion of her brow, the sharp tilt of her eyebrows, the closeness of her upper lip to the bottom of her nose, and the wrinkling of her cheeks when she smiles all offer opportunities to draw out that resemblance. Portrait isn't smiling, I guess, so strike those off the list. But the artist took none of those other opportunities.

WisRich said...

I think the portrait is fine. I just can't get worked up about either portrait.

Roy Jacobsen said...

I don't see it as an insult; he wasn't saying anything about Michelle Obama's attractiveness one way or another. He was merely stating something obvious to pretty much everyone who has seen both that portrait and Mrs. Obama: That ain't her.

traditionalguy said...

The portrait does look like the kids they raised. There is that.

Oldest quip in the book: You look really great... what happened?

William Chadwick said...

The artist forgot to show her holding the severed head of a Caucasian female. (Google: "Kehinde Wiley severed heads Obama.")

JMW Turner said...

Yep,it ain't her,not enough anger.

JaimeRoberto said...

I thought it was a portrait of Kima, the black lesbian cop on The Wire.

Earnest Prole said...

Isn't that a Beinart gaffe ? Accidentally telling the truth?

I think you mean a Kinsley gaffe.

tcrosse said...

This isn't going to help her campaign for President, although it has already been established that the former First Lady is ipso facto entitled to that office, lest some miscreant usurp it.

Marcus Carman said...

Bad picture, bad artist. Simple.

Jupiter said...

William Chadwick said...
"The artist forgot to show her holding the severed head of a Caucasian female. (Google: "Kehinde Wiley severed heads Obama.")"

Is that what they call "intersectional feminism"?

neal said...

Postmodern, rustic, ghetto folk art. Needs graffitti, but I guess that is dress.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

How about the photo-grabbed CNN crawl accidentally attributing the painting as "by sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un"?

Jupiter said...

Yeah, those look a lot more like Michelle Obama's ideas about bringing the races together. In fact, that second murderess looks a bit like Michelle. The straightened hair, and the hate-filled sneer.


https://www.mrctv.org/blog/obama-portrait-artist-also-painted-black-women-holding-severed-white-heads

Humperdink said...

AA, someone posted this one your earlier unveiling thread:

'Wow, scratching my head with a hacksaw blade. CNN's Chris Callizza: "This is a beautiful portrait. It looks very little like Michelle Obama"'

EDH said...

Reminds me a little of Joanna Gaines from HGTV's Fixer Upper.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Both portraits are interesting, weird, unique and certainly not your ordinary Presidential portrait. They talk about Trump bucking the "presidential" traditions. These just kick tradition in the balls. I don't really care for either one, but if I had to pick, I like Michelle's painter's style more.

Michelle is a sort of Pop Art style like Andy Warhol doing Campbell's Soup cans... and it does not look very much like her. Whether that is a bad or good thing...who knows.

Obama looks like an album cover from the 1960's. All psychedelic and groovy (as in the cool word of those days). He even looks like he is coming down from a rather bad trip. I wonder what that says about the portrayal of the inner Obama? Maybe I'm just remembering my own misspent youth.

The actual portraits seem to be ginormous in size. I wonder if all the the other official portraits are that size, if there were given some parameters as to dimensions or if the Obamas just said, screw it we can do what we want.

Bay Area Guy said...

I didn't for President Obama, but I have no beef with him or his wife, the former First Lady.

Not everything has to be politicized. They deserve good formal portraits for the White House.

Now, I'm looking at Michelle Obama's portrait, and I'm getting that same sensation when my daughter, at a young age, would present to me one of her Godawful paintings, with a smile on her face, whereupon I would lie and say, "Wow, it looks beautiful Honey!"

It's a goofy portrait. But if MO likes it, I guess that ends the inquiry.

Daniel Jackson said...

You mean seriously the Obamas could not afford a Canon or a Nikon or a young professional photographer who would do it for the chops FOR FREE and get a decent photograph compared to that? I think they made a mistake and will NEVER admit that. Ever.

The guy has a point. The Empress is wearing no clothes.

EDH said...

Maybe a little Kerry Washington thrown in?

https://www.thewrap.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Kerry-Washington-%E2%80%93-Scandal.jpg

Bay Area Guy said...

And the Obama portrait in the midst of green jungle?!?!

Totally goofy and hideous -- artistically speaking.

CJ said...

I know that Barry Obama's portrait has a marijuana leaf somewhere in the vines...when someone finds it the media coverage is going to be even more spectacularly fawning.

Rabel said...

From the Smithsonian:

"Aside from questions of technique and skill, above all, we desire images that are portraits first and which concentrate on creating a likeness of the sitter instead of fulfilling some other purpose. Accuracy, allowing always for artistic license! is important but so also is obtaining an image that speaks to the character and nature of the individual. The likeness is the end result of the portrait and we are careful to avoid portraits becoming the means to another purpose, one which uses visual clichés to trigger a political or cultural response like a piece of propaganda."

Oh well.

Paul said...

You know, Obama's (as in Barry) portrait is just weird. I mean seriously weird.

Michael said...

Both official portraits are hideous. Alas. They will reside in the National Portrait Gallery.

Michael said...

To be fair they probably didn't have a lot of artists to pick from who could paint a realistic portrait.

Rabel said...

Oh my.

h/t Chipper

Kevin said...

I can't believe he would use white standards of quality and naturalism like that. That guy must be one heck of a racist.

Khesanh 0802 said...

BO's is interesting and pretty accurate, although hiding in the ivy doesn't do much for me. Whoever did Michelle will not have a career as a portrait painter. Michelle has a strong and interesting face; this painting doesn't come close.

roesch/voltaire said...

As Sato Issais wrote about his portrait at 51--even that. which faills to resemble me may capture the essence of what I am--the one of Barack gets some of his essence but the portrait of Michelle misses the mark. They would have done better to pick our local very fine portrait painter Phil Salamone-- even though he is not black.

dreams said...

And there is an ugly portrait of Obama, it looks too much like him.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Howard said...

It's horribly amateurish and a poor likeness. Mixing tones with titanium white produces that awful chalky look... zinc or lead is the way to go because transparency.

Yancey Ward said...

I don't get that portrait- it looks nothing like Mrs. Obama, and it is ugly to the point of being hideous.

The Godfather said...

The Obama portraits are not as bad as the Obama Administration, so there's that.

Curious George said...

"They would have done better to pick our local very fine portrait painter Phil Salamone-- even though he is not black."

Of course he's not black. It's Madison.

Triangle Man said...

"It took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip."

FIDO said...

THAT is the official portrait? AYFKM?

It looks like some computer made digital rendering of a photo and a poorly done one at that.

The Obama portrait isn't much better in my opinion.

Curious George said...

I think it's a great representation of their time in the White House. Unmitigated disaster.

Curious George said...

As is Cillizza's tweet. What a moron.

FIDO said...

Looks like a pencil drawing by a high school student.

Exactly! I have seen better art at an Art Fair by my community center.

Lem said...

Is it headed for erasure?

you better screen capture it, for posterity.

rcocean said...

As someone said, Chris missed putting the "But" in there.

I have nothing against Obama or Michelle. They really better than this.

rcocean said...

"Obama looks like an album cover from the 1960's."

Yep. Give him a crown of flowers - and put him in Woodstock.

glenn said...

Michelle is a lovely woman but Halle Berry she’s not.

Lem said...

Joyce Carol Oates tweets...

Problem with portraiture: a really good artist will not give you veto power over what she/he does w/ your image. If you can influence the portraitist to flatter you, the portraitist has no integrity. If you can't, prepare to wince & cringe & as soon as you can get rid of portrait

langford peel said...

He really didn't capture her true essence. He went too Cauphin when he should have shaded it more toward Rhesus. It needed much more of an old world flavor.

Tank said...

Tank detests both of them and the portraits are awful.

Who would want that to be permantly on display?

TWW said...

I thought it was Oprah? In Michelle's dress.

Robert Cook said...

Actually, as a portrait , it's terrible. The artist didn't get her likeness, and the technique looks uncertain. The black and white design is striking, however.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
langford peel said...

Of course you can never go wrong if you go the full Silverback.

Curious George said...

"Tank said...
Tank detests both of them and the portraits are awful.

Who would want that to be permantly on display?"

Me.

eddie willers said...

"Obama looks like an album cover from the 1960's."

And this one for Michelle?

buwaya said...

"If you can influence the portraitist to flatter you, the portraitist has no integrity."

The portraitist is a contractor and is commissioned to create according to his patrons requirements. I don't see why he should not be tasked with making his patron look good.

The world is full of fine portraits of plain-looking people.

Mr. Fabulous said...

(World Famous Lurker says....)

When I saw Michelle's portrait I said "How many midgets are hiding under that dress?"

langford peel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathryn51 said...

I think they both intentionally selected artists who would paint "F**k You America" portraits.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

What does it say about the subjects that they accepted these renderings for their iconography?! From all I have heard Obama would claim he could do better than either portraitist!!!

dbp said...

Is this the same artiste' who did the sculpture of Lucy?

Freeman Hunt said...

Michelle Obama is much better looking than that.

gspencer said...

The portraits so-called remind me of the rock-n-roll favorite, Griftin' the Night Away.

By two AA babies,

Bad Lieutenant said...


Robert Cook said...
Actually, as a portrait , it's terrible. The artist didn't get her likeness, and the technique looks uncertain. The black and white design is striking, however.

2/12/18, 4:44 PM


100%. If there was a nationwide BOLO/manhunt for the Obamas, and I were assigned to stop people who look like this, I would not stop Mrs Obama based on this likeness. The portrait of former President Obama, I have not seen yet.

They might as well have had George W. Bush paint them. I bet he would have been tender to them. They deserve better, and the country deserves better. It dumbly bespeaks a desire for effacement, to be forgotten or left alone.

Let's have a national contest. Let the photograph that this was these were based on be released to the public, and that anyone who is capable and willing to submit a 36 by 48 oil painting or whatever is desired can send it in and they can be judged and the best one hung. Even if the contest were only open to Obama voters, someone can do better than this.

MaxedOutMama said...

Poor Michelle. She opened the presidency by being put in charge of food, and she ends it with an official portrait that is not of her.

???????????

gilbar said...

"Problem with portraiture: a really good artist will not give you veto power "

if the portrait was iced onto a cake,
would the really good artist still be able to do so?

Narayanan Subramanian said...

I wonder if they had given power of veto to their kids we may have better .

Francisco D said...

The portrait makes Michelle look gentle and contemplative.

I suspect that people who know her would laugh at that characterization.

AllenS said...

I'd like to hear some comments about the portraits from members of the hood.

Damn!

AllenS said...

I can hardly wait for the Barack Obama Presidential Center to be built. I'm sensing some of the same crapola. Yikes!

Howard said...

The dress looks like a mutant mix of a Kandinsky print on a Klimt dress.

Howard said...

langford: maybe a few more monkey posts will yield a bite. As they say while trolling, it's called fishing, not catching.

Oh wait, I just bit... but spit the hook. Moby or Dick?

Michael said...

Check out some of the other portraits by the "artist." She specializes in portraits of black women holding the severed heads of white women. Nice. Expected.

chickelit said...

The portraits are rather Peter Maxy.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

She's certainly poorly served by it. It looks like tattoo art. However you feel about Bark and his missus they are historic figures and they, and the country, deserve something with both quality and dignity. I'm very surprised she'd find this acceptable.

Ctmom4 said...

I can’t stand either one of them, but these portraits are an abomination. And I assume we taxpayers paid for them. Can we get a refund?

anti-de Sitter space said...

To me, the face looks a bit universal but w/ a Michelle vibe. \

Well, not truly universal, i.e. not white gal.

But, I see a bit Asian and some other stuff beyond "black."


Art.

anti-de Sitter space said...

I love it.

Best POTUS or FLOTUS portrait, by far, ever.



IMHO.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Will folks be jabbering about interpreting this portrait for more than five hundred years, Mona-style?

No. Folks will be occupied w/ their current. Even the signposts of our current will only be trivia.

Which -- glass half full -- is good for all y'all. That means nobody will bother assessing your backwardness (even by today's standards) that is being typed out here. Likewise, lucky for Althouse that she (like all of us) will forever lost to the realness of the day, in the future.



So. Carry on.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Even full-on murderous Nazi fighters (but not the big names) are lost to history today.

So Althouse et. al., take comfort. Continue to be what makes you feel good. Id-out cons.

Nobody cares today. And that times a trillion re posterity.



Effuse on!


anti-de Sitter space said...

BTW, I never did get the 'Michelle O' tag.

Seems like a slight.

Anywho, this occasion (portrait palooza) seemed like a good time to suss out the origin story. Why this truncation re Mrs. Obama?

https://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/05/he-still-didnt-put-butter-up-i-was-like.html

No justifiable reason. Just felt right to Althouse. It fit, for Althouse.






anti-de Sitter space said...

Of course we got 'Sarah Palin'. No P (never mind Russian PP) there.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Laura and Ann and Sarah and (even) Todd, got full last names.

But, Michelle got the 'zero.'

anti-de Sitter space said...

Obviously plateauing ain't so good.

IMHO.


walter said...

It's a "composite"..maybe a “Cablinasian” influence.

wildswan said...

"an official portrait that is not of her."

It looks more like the poster for the young Jane Fonda playing Michelle in the movie

wildswan said...

There's not any sign in the other picture that the artist knew that this man had been the President but that may be the correct artistic interpretation of Obama's attitude toward being President.

Peter Casas said...

It completely misses her wookie-like countenance and bitter, hateful nature...artistic fail...

exhelodrvr1 said...

Her portrait is stealing the show!

Rusty said...

While not a pretty woman,Michelle Obama, she is handsome. Especially when she smiles. Which she does whenever random white people are beaten to a pulp.

Rusty said...

Posterity is going to think Michelle Obama was an ad in a 1970s fashion magazine.

Assrat said...

On the bright side, America has something else to laugh at.