(National Sentinel)Â Divide: The artist who painted President Barack and first lady Michelle Obama’s official portraits is known for painting black women holding the severed heads of white women.
Two of Kehinde Wiley’s previous pieces reference a story in theÂ Book of Judith, which involves a beautiful woman who seduces an invading general before he is able to destroy their land, gets him drunk, and then decapitates him.
Popularized during theÂ Renaissance and Baroque periods, the story centers aroundÂ Holofernes, an Assyrian general who was about to destroy Judith’s home, the city of Bethulia.
Given the historical period and the fact that none of the women depicted as Judith were black, critics say it is difficult to miss the overly racist undertone of his paintings.
Renaissance-period painters assigned Judith the role of aÂ scriptural savior, â€œa type of the praying Virgin or the church or as a figure who tramples Satan and harrows Hell.â€ Wiley’s depictions appear to reassign that role to black women who are ridding the earth of ‘white devils.’
“Can you imagine for a second if George W. Bush, or any other former president,Â decided on a painter who was famous for depicting white people killing black people to paint his officialÂ portrait?” notesÂ The Gateway Pundit.
The Obamas were criticized by conservatives in 2008 for their decades-long association with Chicago-area pastor Jeremiah Wright, who was known for racist-tinged rhetoric.
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