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Obama's official portrait was officially unveiled - see other incredible pieces from the one-of-a-kind artist who painted it

Business Insider | Feb 13, 2018, 03.44AM IST

kehinde wiley

Andrew Harnik/AP

Kehinde Wiley was pretty excited walking onto the stage with former President Barack Obama on Monday.

For artist Kehinde Wiley, being commissioned to paint former President Barack Obama's official portrait was an opportunity to make a lasting impact on people around the world.

"The reality of Barack Obama being the president of the United States - quite possibly the most powerful nation in the world - means that the image of power is completely new for an entire generation of not only black American kids, but every population group in this nation," Wiley told BBC in 2008.

His incredible portrait of the former president, unveiled in Washington, DC on Monday, will hang alongside other presidential paintings in the National Portrait Gallery. He and Amy Sherald, who painted a portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama, are the first African-Americans in history to be commissioned to paint a presidential couple.

But well before he was selected to paint Obama, Wiley was recognized as a master of his craft worldwide, and his works have fetched as much as $143,000 at auctions. His art has also been featured in the Fox TV show, "Empire."

Here's a look at his eye-catching and original body of work:

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