History was made and rules were broken when former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama commissioned Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald respectively to paint their likeness for their Smithsonian presidential portraits. For the first time, two black artists had the task of immortalizing the first black couple in the White House and the unveiling ceremony on Monday revealed stunning pieces of work from the seasoned artists. But regardless of how familiar you are with Wiley and Sherald's work, you might not have known that their Instagrams are full of gems too. SEE ALSO: The internet is enthralled by the Obamas' official portraits
Amy Sherald Amy Sherald's portrait of Michelle Obama against a sky-blue background is groundbreaking, but that's nothing new for the Baltimore-based artist. Her Instagram (@asherald) isn't as jam-packed with her own pieces but when she does share them on the grid, it's breathtaking. New works-“ What’s precious inside of him doesn’t care to be known in the mind of those that diminish its presence. “(All American) Oil on Canvas @ Monique Meloche LES March 3-5 2017 #armoryweek 2 Rivington St. NY, NY A post shared by Amy Sherald (@asherald) on Mar 1, 2017 at 7:57am PST A post shared by Amy Sherald (@asherald) on Dec 5, 2017 at 3:57am PST Sherald's Instagram is also the perfect place to find inspiration—from fellow artists, articles, or just one of those straight up good reminder type of quotes about life. And the occasional #TBT of course. Because the power lies within. #notetoself A post shared by Amy Sherald (@asherald) on Jan 16, 2018 at 9:29am PST Always camera ready ??????❤️?????? #sisters?????? @hessliz69 A post shared by Amy Sherald (@asherald) on Feb 3, 2018 at 11:27am PST And while she doesn't share the in-between stages of her portraits, Sherald did share some behind-the-scenes of the Obamas portrait unveiling (one including a shot with
the Tom Hanks). Oh hey Tom ???????????? A post shared by Amy Sherald (@asherald) on Feb 12, 2018 at 1:56pm PST
Kehinde Wiley Wiley, who took on the task of painting President Barack Obama, peppers his Instagram feed with some of his iconic pieces, and thank goodness he does. If you haven't been able to see his work at a museum, you can get a glimpse of his grandiose paintings on your smart phone. It's not the same, but it's better than nothing. Tanisha Crichlow (Portrait of Henrietta Maria of France, Queen Consort of England, Scotland and Ireland), 2015 oil on linen 6x5feet. Special thanks to @double_d_production A post shared by Kehinde Wiley (@kehindewiley) on Apr 20, 2016 at 9:09am PDT Large scale #equestrian portrait from my "Rumors of War" series. "Duc d'Arenberg" (Duke of Arenberg), 2011 oil on canvas 108 x 90 inches #rumorsofwar #kehindewiley #brooklynmuseum #equestrianportrait A post shared by Kehinde Wiley (@kehindewiley) on Feb 6, 2015 at 7:13am PST Wiley also sometimes offers a peek behind the curtain, showing behind-the-scenes work that goes behind each large scale portrait. Working on a large scale double portrait of two Cameroonian men from the village of Bandjune. #paintingstudio #behindthescenes #artprocess #oilpainting #kehindewiley #contemporarypainting A post shared by Kehinde Wiley (@kehindewiley) on Feb 5, 2014 at 8:49am PST Another work in progress. #equestrian #laborday #deadline A post shared by Kehinde Wiley (@kehindewiley) on Sep 6, 2015 at 6:50am PDT It's still an Instagram account after all, so naturally, there is plenty of doggo content. Getting away with the kids #Catskills #memorialday #italiangreyhound #thistooisnewyork A post shared by Kehinde Wiley (@kehindewiley) on May 27, 2014 at 5:24pm PDT And of course, when you're an artist as celebrated and revered as Wiley, you're bound to bump shoulders with a few of the greats. #kehindewiley #jayz #marina abramovic's performance A post shared by Kehinde Wiley (@kehindewiley) on Jul 29, 2013 at 5:38pm PDT A wonderful night @theoriginalbigdaddy @mariahcarey A post shared by Kehinde Wiley (@kehindewiley) on Sep 14, 2015 at 7:03am PDT Their Instagrams belong in museums too, if you ask us. WATCH: Patrisse Cullors says she's not a fan of 'woke'