LL Cool J at the National Portrait Gallery: A Discussion

Can we talk about this?

So I was in our nation’s capital this past weekend visiting a group of friends, and we unanimously decided that the only touristy thing we were going to do was trek to the National Portrait Gallery to check out the exhibit Elvis at 21, which is pretty great. That’s my review.

I’ve been to only one other portrait gallery, and that was in London. It might be one of the greatest places ever, considering I have an unhealthy obsession with the British monarchy, namely the Tudors, and I practically devoured the place (also, we need to discuss William and Kate…I may or may not be stalking them). So in the National Portrait Gallery in London you can see portraits of Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I, works by Holbein, etc…all things you’ve probably seen in your history books. In America, we have LL Cool J. And a throne. And neon green and red damask. Take a look at what you lost in the revolution, Britain. I bet you’re regretting taxation without representation now.

So, according to the nameplate, this is an oil on canvas by Kehinde Wiley. According to examiner.com, Wiley was asked to complete this painting for the VH1 Hip Hop Honors. The pose is supposed to mimic that of John D. Rockefeller in a 1917 portrait by John Singer Sargent. On. The. Money. And by the way, that’s Rock-a-fella to you fine folk.

This portrait is also effing gigantic. And you can only kind of make it out, but there’s a crest-slash-coat of arms of some sort in the upper right corner. I need this for my living room.

So while there were many, many things that I could comment on about the past weekend in Washington, D.C. (including, but not limited to my first marriage, capes and hipsters on bicycles), this needed to be the first.

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Filed under Around Town, BEST Things Ever

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