The Official Presidential Portrait of Barack Obama Has ‘Sperm on His Face’

The artist who painted gruesome depictions of black people decapitating white people revealed his presidential portrait of Barack and Michelle Obama on Monday to adorn the walls of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

While the odd paintings where met with mixed reviews, to say the least, the artist, Kehinde Wiley, may have added something else into his portrait of the 44th president. 

Making the rounds on social media Tuesday morning were strong suspicions that the official portrait of the former president has sperm on his face. 

The rumors wouldn’t be completely unfounded. Wiley is known for putting depictions of sperm cells into his work. In his interpretation of David’s Napoleon there are swimming sperm all over the background, “as a reference to African male virility, or potentially, promiscuity,” writes Quartz’s Ann Quito.

Another of his paintings, 2006’s “St. Lucy” appears to have a background made of the squiggly little critters as well. 

In the portrait of Obama, a vein depicted on the president’s left temple looks suspiciously like a sperm cell, with the head pointing to his ear and the tail whipped up toward his hairline. The odd looking vein is coupled with, just above the president’s left eye, a spot of seemingly pointless white goo that also looks like a glob of spent manhood. 

An even more bizarre element to the piece are suggestions online that at least some of the painting may have created in Photoshop. Certain areas in the background match up a little too perfectly, leading to more questions about the unusual portrait.

Born to a Nigerian father and an American mother, Wiley chooses mostly black subjects. Late last year he was selected to paint the official presidential portrait of America’s first black president. Wiley described being the first black person charged with the magnitude of a presidential portrait as a “huge responsibility” in an interview with the Guardian last year.  

Obama hand-selecting the artist for such a responsibility became a stir of controversy due to the artists propensity for depicting racial violence toward white people.

Many of Wiley’s projects are inspired from classical European works of biblical scenes, replacing the white characters with black models. His beheading paintings are based on Judith beheading Holofernes, or the oppressed beheading the oppressor.

The same artist also painted Michelle Obama with a less than stellar response from Twitter users.

The stylistic choice also stands out, with the frowning president seated in a throne-like chair amongst bright greenery which includes African blue lilies representing Kenya. The artist is noted as being selected by Obama partially for his work, and partially for his outspoken style about the politics of race, revealing what may have inspired the former president.

The presidential portrait will be on display at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

There’s one other thing the public has noticed about the portrait. Obama appears to have six fingers on his left hand. 

Pawl Bazile is a journalist and the Production Director for Proud Boy Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @PawlBazile





  1. Grey Matters!

    February 13, 2018 at 11:50 am

    He’s manspreading on that makeshift toilet in the bush’s. Photos hopped too! How ghetto!

  2. Pingback: The Official Presidential Portrait of Barack Obama Has ‘Sperm on His Face’ – USSA News | The Tea Party's Front Page

  3. Sam

    February 13, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    The Obama’s portraits were painted by two different artists. Barack’s was done by New York-based artist Kehinde Wiley while Michelle’s portrait was done by Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald. Two portraits, two painters.

    • RoadKing

      February 13, 2018 at 5:35 pm

      and they both suck. whether or not you agreed with Obama’s policies, he deserves a presidential portrait not this crap

  4. Pingback: Is that Sperm On Obama’s Temple? – IOTW Report

  5. Kimberly Brady

    February 13, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Great “journalism.” Michelle Obama’s portrait was done by a completely different artist. Fact-check much?

  6. Conor

    February 13, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Amazing as this would be, Obama does actually have a similarly shaped vein on that part of his head in real life, if you google “Obama face” you can see it for yourself. Although the artist definitely does exaggerate it, I’ll give you that…

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