Kehinde Wiley, an already famous Nigerian-American portrait painter was at the center of the world. Why? He was revealing his portrait of the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama, at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington. THISDAY STYLE TEAM ahead of his arrival in Nigeria and at the Summit, happening October 30th and 31st spoke to KEHINDE WILEY on his artistic practice Isn’t it always nice when we are first at something? There’s a particular sense of pride when we, as individuals, do something that has never been done before and make our marks on the sands of time. One such person privileged enough to fall into this category is Nigerian-American, Kehinde Wiley, the first Nigerian-Anerican who painted Barrack Obama, also the first American black President. Of course when such stars emerge, we are quick to acknowledge their roots especially if they are one of our very own. Watching him being interviewed on CNN made me happy. For a country like ours, that has suffered and is still suffering so many knocks and challenges, not to mention followed by never ending negative press globally, it is refreshing when the good works of a son of the soil is acknowledged and celebrated. Although Kehinde grew up in America, he is quick to talk about the positive impact his mother had in his life. To her, he gives credit for his growth and chosen career. And also her encouragement and ability to steer him in the right direction which helped him build his path to the success story he is today. I have to say Nigerian parents, especially mothers, truly go the extra mile when it comes to the development of their children. That being said, some truly talented people have not been lucky or fortunate enough to horn in on their skills either through lack of funds or generally lack of interest or encouragement. They do not invest the time, dedication and effort into this skill to achieve the mastery they need to have to make a living out of it. But today, Art is one of the most buoyant businesses to run. So artistes, the good ones that is, are in hot demand. Their works are being sold all over the world and simply put...their time has come! Many more Kehinde Wileys are emerging from our shores than ever before as they continue to set the global stage on fire with their astonishing works. Truth be told, Art is one field where our artistes are commanding as much figures as most of their global counterparts. Many of their works have been sold and showcased in some of the world’s biggest galleries. Artistes, though not the best of businessmen, have been approached by many art dealers who have helped in elevating the value of their works thus giving them their well earned respect.