As the 2012 presidential election draws near, the disrespect so intensely aimed at the first family is reaching new heights. Tuesday, Aug. 28, the Internet is abuzz with news that first lady Michelle Obama is appearing on another magazine cover, but in this case it is far from truth. The so-called “‘cover” belongs to that of Magazine Fuera de Serie, a Spanish publication, that superimposed a picture of Mrs. Obama’s face onto that of artist Marie-Guillemine Benoist’ in a painting titled “Portrait D’Une Négresse.” The work shows Michelle as a slave, swaddled in what appears to be an American flag with one of her breasts exposed.
Since the work has been released online, it’s sparked outrage from people calling the work offensive and racist. Not so, says the artist, who worked with Fuera de Serie on the image. Artist Karine Percheron-Daniels defends the artistic choice, saying that it shows an “alternative unexpected reality” by allowing the viewer to see “famous individuals in a different way.”
Percheron-Daniels also depicted Princess Diana, Abraham Lincoln, and yes, Barack Obama, as nude for the magazine, only Michelle’s piece has sparked outrage so far. The president’s portrait has yet to surface online.
Michelle’s slave transformation accompanies a piece that translates roughly to Michelle Granddaughter of a Slave, Lady of America that is said to be glorifying the first lady for triumphing even with slave roots. Michelle’s great-great grandfather and great-great-great grandmother were both slaves. “I’m sure Obama would love it,” added Karrine Percheron-Daniels on the piece.”I hope that someday she can see it.”
If you feel the photos are indeed offensive, mark this the second time in recent weeks that thinly veiled racism has been hurled the first lady’s way. Earlier this month, a Puerto Rican adviser was criticized for tweeting that President Barack Obama should buy the first lady a double-banana sundae and take her to Kenya for her birthday. “Take her to Burger King, buy her a sundae with double banana, take her to your homeland, Kenya,” wrote the woman online. How charming.
What are your thoughts on Michelle Obama being depicted as the Portrait D’Une Négresse? Outrageous, or art? -danielle canada