The Art of Obama…Musicals, Poetry, Paintings and More!

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Some find the waves of  Obama-love amusing; others find 44 is their muse. In addition to the chocolates, pencils, tee-shirts, magnets and such sold on what seems to be every street corner, here’s some high art honoring the highest office:

  • Two Obama musicals!Obama: The Musical”  is already Baracking the Kenya National Theatre. The pop-opera portrays Obama as the “chosen one, put on Earth to deliver a brighter future for all,” who can also do a mean salsa. Meanwhile, “Obama On My Mind” begins performances March 13 at the Hen and Chickens Theatre in London, telling our pals across the pond about “the weird and wonderful world behind the scenes of a small Obama campaign office” through soft rock and jazz. Um, I thought the new Prez was more of a Stevie Wonder guy?
  • Visual Art: Expect to see painted, silkscreened, sculpted, and photographed Obamas beaming from gallery walls near you, including Shepherd Fairey’s iconic portrait, recently acquired by the National Portrait Gallery. December’s Art Basel Miami Beach saw Yan Pei-Ming’s giant oil painting Obama fetch a cool $300,000 while Elizabeth Peyton’s Barack & Michelle went for $60,000. And last weekend, the Manifest Hope art fair in DC included my new favorite, Tes One’s “Change We Made,” seen here and available in a limited edition of (what else) 44 hand-painted screenprints.
  • Music: John Williams composed “Air and Simple Gifts,” performed by Yo Yo Ma and Itzack Perlman at the Inauguration. The campaign also saw will.i.am’s “Yes We Can” mash-up and Jay Z’s “My President is Black.” (Yes. Yes he is.) For your inner indie rocker, check out “Someone to Wake” sung by Centro-matic’s Will Johnson, the newest addition to the already-awesome “Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies” featuring Nellie McKay and members of Xiu Xiu and Cake.
  • Poetry: Elizabeth Alexander’s Inaugural poem “Praise Song For The Day” will be published next month by Gray Wolf Press and is already topping bestseller lists. Alexander is the fourth poet to be commissioned by an incoming president, after Robert Frost (JFK), Maya Angelou (Clinton) and Miller Williams (also Clinton). Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks also penned this ecstatic poem for the occasion. Of course, the man himself is known to be a pretty good writer, too.
  • Sex toys: All this ART can be a lot of WORK! Treat yourself right with this Obama vibrator (NSFW) and then slip into your brand new Obama underthings.

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Word Up: Hen and Chickens Theatre – the theatre which will premiere “Obama On My Mind” in March

By the Numbers: 44, the number of copies of the limited edition screen print “Change We Made”

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One Response to “The Art of Obama…Musicals, Poetry, Paintings and More!”

  1. Keeney Says:

    Nice post! I absolutely agree..

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