Slavery in the WhiteHouse!? Ci.

We have always been on the Michelle Obama bandwagon,  and we’re not even American! We don’t care where she’s taking us, but as the American Presidential Elections draw near, it’s the latest controversy which has us nostalgic for the days of interest over her trim arms, and healthy food initiatives.

Appearing on the cover of the August 2012 issue of Spanish magazine, Fuera de Serie, is a nude portrait of American First Lady Michelle Obama.

Well to be clear, appearing on the cover of the August 2012 issue of Spanish magazine, Fuera de Serie,  is an image by Artist Karine Percheron-Daniels  with First Lady Michelle Obama’s face super imposed over a pre-exsisting Marie-Guillemine Benoist‘s painting “Portrait d’une négresse.”

Benoist painted the portrait in 1800 as a social commentary on France’s sexism and racism during the 19th century. Historians also view the piece of art as the beginning of the country’s feminist movement.

So perhaps the comparison is more fitting than not?  Albeit a number of sites have called the cover inappropriate because it depicts the First Lady in imagery closely associated with slavery.
It wasn’t too long ago that the Benoist painting was used as a reference for a shoe campaign by red-souled Christian Louboutin in 2011.  So we ask what’s more shocking? Using the image of a ‘slave’ to push politics, or sell shoes?

Also, this wouldn’t be the first piece by the artist to cause such a scandal by Karine Percheron-Daniels.  She has done previous portraits of Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Eva Peron, Albert Einstein, and even Barack Obama and Michael Jackson in the buff.  Somehow this latest nod to the first lady seem’s to of launched the artist into mainstream conversation.

After the controversial piece hit the net, the artist released a statement via their website to address any haters or misunderstanders, Saying;

“If any of you have found this piece of art insulting I would like to say that my GENUINE intention was never to chock or upset anyone.This has COMPLETELY got lost in translation. I created this picture as part of a series of other famous  nudes.  As an artist I only paint and create pictures of people I admire and feel passionate about. Michelle Obama is one of these people. In my eyes , the picture I created here is of a beautiful woman with a beautiful message : The first Lady of America  in the first time in history is a black woman who proudly and confidently displays her WOMANHOOD (the nude) her ROOTS (the slave)  and her POWER(the First Lady of America embraced by the American flag). This picture, is a celebration of EVERYTHING GOOD, it is a celebration af achievement and in my opinion is not a racist slur. I am not a racist: I admire people regardless of their colour and this picture was meant to be a tribute….totally lost in translation. With my art I try to show beauty  NOT DIRT.”




Here at the Eye of Faith, we can appreciate the historic references for all these images, but when it comes to this one of the First Lady… we are left wondering, what would Michelle Obama say?


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