Spanish magazine Fuera de Serie is making jaws drop with its August cover girl: Michelle Obama. And it’s because she’s depicted as a topless black slave.
Artist Karine Percheron-Daniels superimposed Michelle’s face onto Marie-Guillemine Benoist‘s painting “Portrait d’une négresse.” Benoist painted the portrait in 1800 as a social commentary on France’s sexism and racism during the 19th century. Historians also view the piece of art as the beginning of the country’s feminist movement.
According to Google Translate, this is how the magazine teased the corresponding article of Michelle. The translation is rough, but you still get the gist that the article praises the First Lady:
Never said it ensures that well-known that behind every great man there is a great woman was so successful in describing the Obama marriage. In the shadow of the U.S. President is a person whose popularity ratings exceed those of Barack own. This person is none other than his wife Michelle, who stars in the cover of the magazine this week.
Political communication experts are no strangers to the overwhelming charm of the first lady and, knowing this, she even point will be key to the reelection of Democrat in the next presidential election to be held in November. To find out how Michelle has managed to seduce the American people, the journalist Paul Scarpellini detail the secrets of women who not only won the hearts of Barack Obama.
The cover and article seem contradictory at first glance, don’t you think?
But is the cover just lost in translation? After all, Percheron-Daniels has done nude paintings of other historic characters like Queen Elizabeth, Abraham Lincoln, and even Barack, and there hasn’t been the same type of backlash.
Percheron-Daniels has even updated her website with a statement regarding the controversial Fuera de Serie cover:
If any of you have found this piece of art insulting I would like to say that my GENUINE intention was never to chock [sic] or upset anyone. I created this picture as part of a series of other famous nudes. As an artist I only paint and create pictures of people I admire and feel passionate about Michelle Obama is one of these people. In my eyes, the picture I created here is of a beautiful woman with a beautiful message: The first Lady of America in the first time in history is a black woman who proudly and confidently displays her WOMANHOOD (the nude) her ROOTS (the slave) and her POWER (the First Lady of America embraced by the American flag). This picture, is a celebration of EVERYTHING GOOD, it is a celebration of achievment and in my opinion is not a racist slur.
I am not a racist: I admire people regardless of their colour and this picture was ment [sic] to be a tribute….totally lost in translation. With my art I try and show beauty NOT DIRT.
Obviously, we have no way of knowing the real reason why Percheron-Daniels painted Michelle like this, or why the magazine decided to use the image for its cover, but at least they’ll both be on everyone’s radar now.
See the controversial cover and the original painting below, and tell us your thoughts:
this is some kind of spaceship or something.
[via HuffPost Style]