Magazine de Fuera de Serie, a Spanish periodical, has caused quite a stir with its decision to feature artwork depicting Michelle Obama as semi-nude African slave on the cover of its latest issue.
Accompanying an article entitled “Michelle Granddaughter of a Slave, Lady of America,” the piece by Karine Percheron-Daniels superimposes the First Lady’s face onto the iconic Portrait d’une négresse by French neoclassical painter Marie-Guillemine Benoist.
The original painting, exhibited six years after the abolition of slavery in France, is meant to symbolize emancipation and empowerment. But many online sneered at the juxtaposition, calling it racist and anachronistic.
“Let’s be clear,” writes Althea Legal-Miller at Clutch Magazine, “This image has nothing to do with acknowledging Obama’s enslaved foremothers, and everything to do with reinforcing and extending the historical denial of black women’s individuality and agency.”
For her part, the artist, who has previously portrayed Princess Di, Queen Elizabeth II, and even President Obama in similarly compromising positions, defended her work, saying she was sure FLOTUS herself would love it.
[H/T: The Frisky]