Family PortraitS

Artist Elizabeth Peyton speaks to the Washington Post about her moving portrait of Michelle and Sasha Obama.

Amazingly enough, Peyton completed the painting in only five days. Like many of her famous portraits, this piece, titled "Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008", is based on a photograph she found in a magazine: "I was struck by this image of Michelle and Sasha because it was so normal and monumental at the same time — a transcendent mother-and-child picture in the midst of history being made. The original photo was already great but by making it into a painting transformed it into a transcendent image. One might say it's a milestone to have Barack Obama elected as president, but to have an African American first lady and daughters somehow seems more transgressive and culture changing." [Washington Post]