While Obama has been serving our country over the last two terms, Photographer Camilo José Vergara has been seeking out and documenting folk art paintings of the president in urban neighborhoods. And we thank him for it, because the results are incredible.
Camilo José Vergara. 253 West 125th Street, Harlem, New York City, 2009.
Camilo José Vergara. Mural by Ron, Frank Tires #1, 4270 East 7 Mile Road, Detroit, 2009.
Camilo José Vergara. Tabernacle of Deliverance for All People, Frederick Douglass Boulevard at West 154th Street, Harlem, New York City, 2009.
Camilo José Vergara. Martin Luther King Jr., Obama and Malcolm X mural by Shyaan Khufu, Master Burger, 4423 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, 2010.
The neighborhoods the artist chose were generally poor, suffering from disinvestment and typically majority African-American. “In black neighborhoods around the country, it’s easy to see what President Barack Obama means to residents: just look for the nearest mural, where he often appears, painted alongside figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Jesus,” explains the Huffington Post.
Camilo José Vergara. Mural by EVOL, 1124 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Los Angeles, 2010.
Camilo José Vergara. “Obama es el Presidente, Obama es para todos” by Chuy Vasquez, Louis Market, 42nd Place at South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, 2013.
Camilo José Vergara. Mural by Bird at Gratiot Avenue, Detroit, 2010.
Camilo José Vergara. “Obama, Man of Peace,” The Avon School, Chadwick Avenue at Rose Terrace, Newark, New Jersey, 2014.
Camilo José Vergara. Sims Barbershop, 47th Street at South Champlain Avenue, Chicago, 2012.
Camilo José Vergara. Abandoned A and J Tires store, 9154 Livernois Ave., Detroit, 2014.
Camilo José Vergara. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Obama mural at Faith in Christ Ministries, 46th Street at South Western Avenue, Los Angeles, 2010.
Camilo José Vergara Mural at West Montana Street and Woodward Avenue, Highland Park, Michigan, 2009. A local artist said the mural was about “three powerful men, three men that changed the world.”
“To Vergara, the paintings show hope, patriotism and ‘the feeling that Obama is the product of the African-American experience and African-American history,’ sentiments he said have endured over the years.”
[via Huffington Post]