Spanish magazine Fuera de Serie's controversial cover is sparking a debate about art, race and politics in the US
Credits: File Photo.
A Spanish magazine cover depicting Michelle Obama as a black slave with one breast exposed has some people crying foul.
The cover of Spain's Fuera de Serie features the first lady's face superimposed over the famous 1800 painting "Portrait d'une Negresse" by French feminist artist Marie-Guillemine Benoist.
The doctored image is not the magazine's creation. It was taken from the "Famous Nudes" series by artist Karine Percheron-Daniels, who describes her work as trying "to offer an alternative unexpected reality to allow the viewer to re-examine his unique subjective experience and general understanding and view the world and people in a different way."
The description of the article, titled "Michelle: Great-great-granddaughter of a Slave, Owner of America," on the magazine's website appears to describe a positive profile of the former lawyer and first African-American first lady.
"In the shadow of the US president is a person whose popularity ratings exceed those of Barack. This person is none other than his wife Michelle, who stars in the cover of the magazine this week," reads the description as roughly translated from Spanish.
It continues, "To find out how Michelle has managed to seduce the American people, the journalist Paul Scarpellini details the secrets of women who not only won the heart of Barack Obama."
But many Americans are offended by the controversial depiction of their first lady.
"Let's be clear: This image has nothing to do with acknowledging Obama's enslaved foremothers, and everything to do with reinforcing and extending the historical denial of black women's individuality and agency," wrote Clutch Magazine's Althea Legal-Miller.
Brande Victorian of Madame Noire said the image reinforces "the idea that Michelle Obama is and always will be a slave in far too many people's eyes, no matter how far we're removed from physical enslavement, and how high of a position she's climbed to in society."
TheFrisky.com called the cover "tasteless."
"Plenty of absurd things are 'artsy,' like crafting Jesus on the cross out of elephant feces or giving birth inside an art gallery as a live-action installation. But a drawing of Michelle Obama topless on the cover of Fuera de Serie is plain old tasteless," wrote Jessica Wakeman.
"In my opinion, they have every right to depict her artistically, even in poor taste. But that doesn't mean they should do it."