Assessing The Current State Of The Union Through Contemporary Painting

Assessing The Current State Of The Union Through Contemporary Painting

African-American Artist, Kehinde Wiley takes a unique approach to a presidential portrait
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Monday morning Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of former president Barack Obama was unveiled at The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Wiley is a native of New York who has focused most of his work on African-Americans in highly naturalistic depictions.

Wiley depicts Obama in a seated position with facial expressions that echo the pages of a fashion spread. The popular seated pose that Obama is depicted in can be seen similar to the 1805 painting of Thomas Jefferson by Gilbert Stuart.

These seated choices since the beginning of presidential paintings have revealed a no-frills character. One could also argue that the seat position reveals a “for the people” persona that contrasts the standing portrait style that past presidents like George Washington have been depicted in. While the viewer may first look upon Obama as the subject, the real importance seems to come from the environment that Obama exists in. The plants that surround Obama are not only a contrasting location due to their placement but in addition, the nature of plants on their own.

Plants, unlike most of the settings in presidential paintings, are ever-changing aspects of society that die, re-blossom and so forth. The changing nature of plants seems to speak to the changing nature of our political atmosphere. While comparing this portrait of Obama to Wiley’s former work, one would see his likeness to floral backgrounds and diverse array of colors compounded with photorealism.

Yet while the perching flowers behind Obama seem to be obstructed due to his chair, it is his presence that is actually being obstructed. Floral background and Obama seem to read more so as a collage than a painting. This discourse in Obama sitting and the background seems to speak to his eight years in office and where we sit in our current political atmosphere. Similar to the growth of plants we do not have as much control in change that we see.

The American Psychological Association’s survey on stress in American reports that 72 percent of Democrats have said their stress has sourced from the outcome of the election, while 59 percent of Republicans have said that their stress stems the anticipation of the political future.

As a millennial, most of my counterparts receive their news on their phones, but in a way is Wiley speaking to emotional vulnerability of our society?

Regardless of party association, the potential and unknown direction of the flowers connect to the unknown and apprehensive steps we take as a society while the seated nature of Obama can be seen as this level of uncertainty that a man who was the leader of our country slowly gets shadowed and unseen by this chaos but with him things that we know.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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9 Eligible Princes You Need To Know About Now That Prince Harry Is Off The Market

You too could have a Meghan Markle fairytale
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Prince Harry's royal wedding is officially over and there won't be another British royal wedding for quite some time now, as Prince George is way too young to start thinking about that. Fortunately, there are plenty of other countries with plenty of other princes that are still eligible bachelors at the moment. Lucky for you, I did my research and compiled a list of all the eligible princes you need to know about know that Prince Harry has tied the knot with Meghan Markle.

1. Prince Louis of Luxembourg (31)

Prince Louis is the third son of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg. He has recently become a bachelor again after his separation with his wife of 10 years, Princess Tessy.

Fun Fact: He graduated from Richmond, The American International University of London with a BA in Communications. He can also speak Luxembourgish (the fact that's even a language is fun fact by itself), French, German, and English fluently.

2. Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg (26)

Prince Sebastien is the youngest child of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg, so if you marry him, you'll probably never actually be queen because he's pretty far removed from the throne. However, he's relatively young and single, so best of luck.

Fun Fact: For some bizarre reason, this prince actually went to college in Ohio. He played rugby and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2015. Now, he is back in his home country and is an officer in the Luxembourg Army.

3. Prince Phillipos of Greece and Denmark (34)

You read that correctly, Prince Phillipos is the prince of not one, but two countries. He is the youngest son of King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie of Greece and Denmark. Unfortunately, Greece abolished their monarchy, so he's a prince in name only there.

Fun Fact: Like Prince Sebastien, Prince Phillipos also went to college in the United States. He earned his B.A. in foreign relations from Georgetown University in 2008. Fortunately, for us American girls, he is actually still living in the US and he works in New York City as an analyst at Ortelius Capital.

4. Prince Albert of Thurn and Taxis (34)

Ever heard of Thurn and Taxis? No? Me neither. Anyways, Prince Albert is from the House of Thurn and Taxis, which is essentially a very old German aristocratic family. He is the son of Prince Johannes XI of Thurn and Taxis and Countess Gloria of Schonburg Glauchau. His family is well known for their breweries and castles, so unless you're gluten-free, you can't really complain.

Fun Fact: He's not just a prince. He's also a racecar driver and 10 years ago he was ranked 11th on Forbes Magazine's List of The 20 Hottest Young Royals.

5. Prince Mateen of Brunei (26)

Prince Mateen is basically like all the guys you already know, except he's royalty. He's the prince of Brunei, which is a small country on the island of Borneo, south of Vietnam. He is one of the five sons of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and he also has seven sisters. Maybe that's a little different than the guys you know, but one thing he takes very seriously, just like most frat guys, is his Instagram.

Fun Fact: Mateen enjoys playing polo, flying in his private plane, cuddling cute wild animals, and keeping up his Insta game with 890k followers. You can follow him @tmski.

6. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai (35)

Sheikh Hamdan also has a killer Instagram with 6.3 million followers. Anyways, Sheikh Hamdan is the billionaire crown prince of Dubai and the second son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and essentially the king of Dubai (Emir). He's actually next in line for the throne because his older brother died in 2015.

Fun Fact: Hamdan's hobbies include skydiving, zip lining, and diving, just to name a few, so if you're an adrenaline junkie, Sheikh Hamdan is the prince for you.

7. Prince Hussein of Jordan (23)

Prince Hussain is the son of the extremely beautiful, Queen Rania and Abdullah II of Jordan and next in line for the Jordanian throne. At 23, he's already a second lieutenant in the Jordanian Armed Forces and he was the youngest person ever to chair a UN Security Council Meeting


Fun Fact: Like Prince Phillippos, Prince Hussain also graduated from Georgetown University in Washington D.C.. Also, like Prince Mateen and Prince Hamdan, he's Insta famous with 1.3 million followers and you can follow him @alhusseinjo.

8. Prince Constantine-Alexios of Greece and Denmark (19)

Like Prince Phillipos, Prince Constantine-Alexios also has two countries. Lucky for us though, he is also living in the US right now attending Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (like pretty much every other prince, amirite?) He is the oldest son of Crown Princess Marie-Chantal and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.

Fun Fact: He's Prince William's godson, so that's pretty neat. However, if that wasn't cool enough, you might like to know that this Greek/Danish prince was actually born in New York. Oh yeah, you can also follow him on Instagram @alexiosgreece where he has 88.7k followers.

9. Prince Joachim of Belgium (26)

Prince Joachim of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este is the third child of Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este and Princess Astrid of Belgium. Although he bears the title, "Prince of Belgium," he is also Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, and Prince of Modena. Unfortunately, he'll probably never actually be king in any of these countries as he is ninth in line to the Belgian throne.

Fun Fact: Prince Joachim has degrees in economics, management, and finance, but he decided to join the Nautical School in Brugge after completing college and is currently an officer in the Belgian Navy.

Hope is not lost for all you girls dreaming of finding a Prince Charming that's literally a prince. After reviewing the data, my best advice is to transfer to Georgetown where princes are basically around every corner.

Cover Image Credit: @meghantheduchessofsussexstyle/Instagram

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Poetry On Odyssey: The Room

It is difficult to let go of childhood traumas, but if you don't, you will never be able to move on to a healthy life.

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Can you hear it?

The Sound of Silence.

I can. There I am.

Back in the little, old cube.

It's bland;

Only a single light bulb decorates the Room.

Shush….

It takes me back to When.

I close my eyes.

There it is again.

The Silence.

It echoes.

It aches.

I open my eyes to a small child.

He hunches his body in a corner.

With his little shuttering voice, he speaks,

They're coming.\n\nThey're coming.

Who's coming?

I ask.

The Monsters,The Monsters,"

He replies.

Over and over he repeats:

They're coming.

They're coming.

The Monsters are coming.

Each time, his whisper grows louder.

Each time, his voice grows firmer.

Then, he stops.

I slowly approach the corner where the child sits.

His figure is so small and meek.

He is probably no more than five.

I grab his shoulder.

I turn his face my way.

What I discover is…

Appalling.

His eye sockets are shallow.

They are deprived of a soul.

Yet

They cry blood.

His face is sickly pale.

His dry lips part.

Then he speaks:

They're here.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner.

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/alone-black-and-white-boy-child-551590/

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