Following Barack Obama’s stunning farewell address Tuesday night, lovesick Americans took to social media to bid farewell to the exceptional first family. The New Museum joined in, posting a particularly emotional 2008 oil painting by Elizabeth Peyton.
The work, titled “Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008,” depicts just that, capturing in Peyton’s distinctly effusive and whirly aesthetic the First Lady with a then 7-year-old Sasha resting in her lap.
Peyton is known for her free-floating, figurative portraits of celebrities and other public figures, her portfolio serving as the art world alternative to fan magazines. She’s said in past interviews that she cannot paint a subject she doesn’t admire.
In fact, she’s expressed that her subjects evoke a feeling something like “I love you; I think you’re the best thing I’ve ever seen.”
In this case, we wholeheartedly agree.