Fuera de Serie, a Spanish magazine, has sparked controversy with its new cover depicting Michelle Obama as a 19th Century French slave. Seriously.
The First Lady of the United States' face is superimposed over "Portrait d'une négresse," a famous painting by French artist Marie-Guillemine Benoist.
The painting from 1800 depicted a female French slave in a headdress and white gown, one breast exposed. Now Michelle Obama is shown as such:
The painting was finished just six years after France's abolition of slavery and has been regarded by art historians as a commentary on both sexism and racism.
Not surprisingly, the image has many critics in the U.S. and Europe wondering if the cover was designed to be more provocative than political ... ya think?!
For its part, the magazine lauds Michelle Obama as the "gran mujer" (great woman) behind her powerful husband. An excerpt of the cover story reads:
"In the shadow of the U.S. President is a person whose popularity ratings exceed those of Barack’s own. This person is none other than his wife Michelle."
"To find out how Michelle has managed to seduce the American people, [we] detail the secrets of a woman who has won [America's hearts]."
Many believe it smacks of racism and reinforces the historical denial of black female individuality, but artist Karine Percheron-Daniels stands by it.
In fact, she thinks Michelle would "love" the picture and would love to show it to Mrs. Obama one day. We wouldn't hold our breath if we were Karine.
What do you think of this Michelle Obama cover?