The artist says it's about 'a black woman who proudly and confidently displays her WOMANHOOD (the nude) her ROOTS (the slave) and her POWER(the First Lady of America embraced by the American flag).'
Michelle Obama is undressed in a jaw-dropping picture gracing the front page of a Spanish magazine. The face of the U.S. First Lady is superimposed by artist Karine Percheron-Daniels onto Marie-Guillemine Benoist's "Portrait d'une negresse" painting.
The altered portrait depicts Michelle as a 19th century French slave wearing a white headdress and a white gown that exposes one of her nipples. In a cover story inside the magazine, she was called "gran mujer" or a great woman for successfully winning the hearts of American people.
The picture caused controversy soon after it was released with many claiming it's racist. Karine defended herself, "I am not a racist: I admire people regardless of their colour and this picture was ment (sic) to be a tribute....totally lost in translation . With my art I try and show beauty NOT DIRT."
The artist who's known for her nude series wrote on her official website, "If any of you have found this piece of art insulting I would like to say that my GENUINE intention was never to chock or upset anyone. I created this picture as part of a series of other famous nudes."
"In my eyes , the picture I created here is of a beautiful woman with a beautiful message : The first Lady of America in the first time in history is a black woman who proudly and confidently displays her WOMANHOOD (the nude) her ROOTS (the slave) and her POWER(the First Lady of America embraced by the American flag)."
"As an artist I only paint and create pictures of people I admire and feel passionate about [and] Michelle Obama is one of these people," she also stated. "This picture, is a celebration of EVERYTHING GOOD, it is a celebration of achievment (sic) and in my opinion is not a racist slur."
Marie-Guillemine Benoist's "Portrait d'une negresse" Painting: