First son Barron Trump may become the first child of a president to have his painted portrait hung up in the White House.
In the unofficial portrait painted by artist Barry Wingard, President Donald Trump is seen hugging Barron Trump, now 11, at the Republican National Convention in July 2016, reports All That’s Fab.News of Barron Trump’s portrait quickly sparked controversy online.
Many found it inappropriate.
“Until this child shows that is somehow worthy of such recognition (aside from being a trump kid) his picture should NOT be hung in the White House,” wrote one person in All That’s Fab’s comments section. “Unless in his parents quarters. He has done nothing notable.”
Others defended the Trump family.
“Don’t most parents have pictures of their children on display in their homes?” wrote one person in reply to Newsiosity’s Facebook post about the incident. “Why should it be any different for the Trumps?”
“They were a gift to the president and his family,” added another. “It’s no one else’s business. Hang it while they live there then take with. It’s their’s. Grow up please and give it a rest.”
Wingard also painted portraits of the president and first lady Melania Trump to pay tribute to a president he believes is disrespected.“The lack of respect for the president has gone on a little too far,” Wingard said.
“I’m hoping to change the conversation,” he added, reports Tri-County Sunday. “It’s been so ugly lately,” said Wingard in July 2017, referring to the photo of comedian Kathy Griffin holding a model of Trump’s head.
“I’m not saying [Trump is] right on everything,” he continued. “We can talk policy without being ugly. At least, I hope we can.”
However, although Wingard voted for — and even painted — Trump, he insists he is not a particularly political person.
“For me to go into this realm is unfamiliar territory,” he said. “If I painted Mrs. [Hillary] Clinton or if I painted former President Barack Obama, I would never paint them in a way that was ugly. I don’t feel like that’s being American.”
Wingard painted President Trump sitting at his desk signing his first executive orders, while another portrait features the firs lady at the inauguration, wearing a powder blue suit.
After he finished the paintings, Wingard reached out to Republican Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania about gifting the portraits.
Kelly admitted it was unusual for unofficial paintings to be displayed on the White House walls. However, he was struck by the beauty of his constituents’ work and agreed to deliver them to the White House.
“This is a person taking their talent and their time to show their appreciation,” Kelly said.