Via Drudge, I see that the Clinton portrait is to be unveiled at the White House this week:
Simmie Knox, the first black artist to paint an official presidential portrait, is preparing to unveil his oil painting of former President Bill Clinton in a ceremony Monday at the White House.
“My mind hasn’t completely wrapped around it yet,” Knox said in a telephone interview from his Silver Spring, Md., home. “Just imagine: I was born in 1935 in Aliceville, Alabama, a sharecropper, and now I’m painting the president. Can you imagine that?”
The self-taught artist, best known for his portraits of black celebrities like baseball legend Hank Aaron and comedian Bill Cosby, also will unveil a painting of the former first lady, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
At the former president’s request, the oil painting is set in the Oval Office. It will be the first presidential portrait in the White House collection to include the American flag.
Couple of things:
1.) I think it is rather interesting that we still value portraits. A throwback, if you will.
2.) I had never heard of Simmie Knox (with my art background, this is wholly unsurprising), but I checked out some of his other portraits, and there is something interesting about his style. I don;t know what it is, but all of the people he has painted seem to come across as pleasant in his portraits- and at the same time they seem to have a sort of smile that leads you to think that they are part of some inside joke. At any rate, I don’t know art or art terms, but that is my impression.
His portrait of David Dinkens reminds me of what I would expect Don Cheadle to look like when he reaches his 60’s.