A Chicago artist has painted a mural of Michelle Obama. But it’s not just any mural. It depicts the former first lady as an Egyptian queen.
Artist Chris Devins said, “I wanted to present her as what I think she is, so she’s clothed as an Egyptian queen. I thought that was appropriate.”
But the artist has come under a little fire over his mural, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the Michelle.
He didn’t say that the image of Obama was actually created by Ethiopian-born artist Gelila Mesfin. Mesfin had posted a photo of her own piece to her Instagram account, @Thick_East_African_Girl, in November.
In several tweets that have since been removed, Devins claimed that he didn’t know of Mesfin’s work. In response, he has been receiving backlash on Twitter.
Apparently Chris Devins is deleting tweets. For those who might need them, receipts. pic.twitter.com/sPTYHRRHdt
— K. Locke (@Bibliogato) April 22, 2017
@DNAinfoCHI Chris Devins stole someones artwork and raised 12,000 dollars to blow put it up without permission. smh delete this article
— Infinite. (@smoltangerine) April 22, 2017
Upon finding out that Devins had unveiled the mural and didn’t give her advance notice or credit, Mesfin said, “This is so disheartening and so disrespectful on so many levels.”
“The purpose of this mural is to give today’s children someone they can literally look up to and to celebrate Mrs. Obama’s life and accomplishments during the last 8 years as First Lady of the United States,” Devins wrote on the GoFundMe page.
He’s collected nearly $12,000 by the way.
He’s collected money for coping someone else’s work. Mesfin was not amused.
Writing on her Instagram, she said:
“I wouldn’t mind if he had given me credit or said he took the design from another artist but saying you designed it is just wrong!”
Only after Mesfin complained, did Devins give her credit:
“Our non profit Urban Planning Projects often include painting inspired by found images. We were blown away by a wonderful image we stumbled on and only found out after the fact who the source of our inspiration was. We in no way meant to [infringe] on anyone’s creativity.”
He said that he reached out to Mesfin and she “has been offered a licensing fee,” adding, “We did not intend to claim authorship, only inspiration.”
LofE truly appreciates the work this great Woman is doing. Looking forward to coming together for the original benefit of Chicago's youth. pic.twitter.com/9RXlffRu53
— Chris Devins (@LeagueOfExtra) April 23, 2017
While the liberals argued over who made Michelle a queen first, Melania Trump was actually making a difference.
She accompanied her husband to Walter Reed Medical Center to make a special presentation in front of the press and honor Purple Heart recipients. Something Michelle Obama never did.
To add to the insult, Obama never made his visits a “special presentation.” He just passed out Purple Hearts on regular visits. Michelle was never in tow.
President Trump and the First Lady made sure that, when they awarded the purple heart, it would not go unnoticed. “President Trump [and the First Lady] paid a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, awarding a Purple Heart to a soldier who was wounded last month in Afghanistan. Trump pinned the medal on Army Sgt. 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos, who lost part of his right leg. The Purple Heart recognizes service members who are wounded in combat,” reports The Washington Post.
“When I heard about this, I wanted to do it myself,” Trump said. The Washington Post added, “Presidents often visit the hospital located just nine miles from the White House. Most visits go unannounced.” However, while Barack’s visits went unnoticed, Michelle never went at all.
The New York Times tried to cover for the Obamas never bringing the attention of the mainstream media to a Purple Heart recipient by reporting, “Trump’s decision to allow news media coverage was in sharp contrast to former President Obama, who awarded the Purple Heart medals during his own regular visits to Walter Reed but also did so behind closed doors.”
We can understand soldiers who would prefer to stay out of the limelight, but not every single one would be like that. Some would want media attention. Some would want to raise awareness, to honor those who have received the award. Couldn’t Obama have done a special presentation just once?
Or, at the very minimum, Michelle could have joined him.
Liberals might be painting Michelle as a “queen” but what Melania did was far more worthy of the title than anything Michelle has ever done.