“Americans Now,” drawn from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection, features portraits of outstanding individuals in the realms of science, business, government and the arts. The exhibition will be on view through June 19, 2011.
The show includes such familiar names as Erykah Badu, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Tom Hanks, Tony Hawk, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Willie Nelson, Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison and Martha Stewart. These figures have been portrayed by some of the most prominent artists of our era: Chuck Close, Robert McCurdy, Elizabeth Peyton, Martin Schoeller, Kehinde Wiley and Dan Winters. The wide range of sitters continues with an iconic image of President Barack Obama by Shepard Fairey and a portrait of Michelle Obama by artist Mickalene Thomas.
“Americans Now” showcases a variety of media. Examples include a projected video—The Late Night Triad by Jason Salavon, which features Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and David Letterman—and video portraits of George Clooney and LeBron James that are a created through a process pioneered by Lincoln Schatz.