Ever since Barack Obama was inaugurated on 20 January 2009, American pop art artist Rob Pruitt has combed through the president’s day and painted his own rendition of it. Now, more than 2,000 paintings surveying Obama’s time in office have been plastered across the walls of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, rendered in red, white and blue.
To begin each work, Pruitt searches online to see what Obama did the day before. He then picks what he believes is “the most appealing image” and adjusts it in photoshop before printing it on transparency film. That film is then projected onto a canvas so that he can paint the image in what is the project’s trademark style – white expressionist brush strokes on a canvas covered in a spectrum of red to blue. “This may be hard to believe, but I never really thought about it at the beginning – I simply started with one painting on the first day,” Pruitt said. “I never imagined that one day I’d end up with almost 3,000 paintings of the president, so I’ve sort of surprised myself with how this project has grown.” When the project is over, there will be 2,922 2ft x 2ft square paintings of things like Obama standing alongside attorney general Eric Holder or meeting with foreign dignitaries.