NEWS///POLITIKS///OBAMA TO BRING MODERN ART TO THE WHITE HOUSE

February 13, 2009  |  art, News, Obama, Politiks

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Obama considers Daniel Edwards' Britney Spears birthing sculpture for Sasha & Malia's room...

Given BARACK OBAMA’s predilection for all things contemporary, rumors have been swirling in the artworld since his victory last year about how the new White House will embrace the modern art world. His interior decorator has been reaching out to museums and galleries in a frenzy to secure significant modern works to display in the Obama’s presidential residence and it’s likely that the wild west & cowboy artwork that ol’ W had placed around the White House will soon be replaced by more timely visions (rumors that Shepard Fairey will be allowed to tag the side of the White House remain unconfirmed). The epic unanswered question of course is, what artist will Obama choose to paint his presidential portrait (may we suggest Eric White?). Luckily, art world heavy DAVID ROSS has just weighed in on the subject with a great piece for this week’s DAILY BEAST:

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Lukas Ketner's portrait of Obama has already been secured for Michele's dressing room...

"The art world is buzzing that the president wants contemporary art in the private residence of The White House. Former museum director David A. Ross on what could (and should) be hanging at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Late in the first Clinton administration, I made my only visit to the White House. A New York art patron who was receiving an award invited me to witness the event. I hardly remember the art on view in the public rooms—when I search my memory, I recall only a sweet portrait of Mamie Eisenhower, in a fluffy pink dress, painted by W.G Williams, who is purported to have been a member of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe.

Now, in the first weeks of the Obama administration, the art world is aflame with rumors that the president and the first lady want serious works by living American artists for their private quarters. This is not the art that the thousands of tourists and VIP visitors will see in the public rooms of the White House. So does it matter whether the Obamas turn out to have good taste or a sophisticated take on the art of our times?

To an arts community that has been alternately ignored and reviled by Washington in recent years, it matters enormously, so, like Kremlinologists, it scrutinizes any bit of news. Michelle Obama wears J Crew—there must be a clue there? President Obama is close to Chicago museum heavyweights Penny Pritzker and Lewis Manilow and counts among his early supporters Eli Broad and Agnes Gund, two people with enormous influence in the American art community. Surely the president will take their counsel seriously? Click HERE to read more...

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