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Mr. Ubiquitous

11:09 AM, Jan 7, 2009 • By KATHERINE EASTLAND
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The Washington Post reports that the original red-and-blue Obama "HOPE" collage by Shephard Fairey is headed to the National Portrait Gallery. It's a grand, and domineering, 60 by 44 inch artwork.

The iconic collage is a gift from Tony and Heather Podesta, superlobbyists in Washington whose late mother, Mary K. Podesta, was an Obama supporter ever since she met him at a 2004 fundraiser for his Senate race. Apparently, he liked her cooking.

Note too where the giant collage will go: In the "new arrivals" section on the first floor. It will be shining forth hope and change next to Laura Bush's official likeness, which was unveiled on December 19 at the gallery. I'm not sure where Bush's portrait will go. But many will like that he's been hanged and framed, as he pointed out. You can see his likeness at that same link.

In case visitors can't get enough of Obama, another picture of him--a color photograph by Martin Schoeller--is hanging in the NPG's exhibition "Portraiture Now: Feature Photography." A variant of that picture originally appeared in GQ. On having his image in the magazine, Obama said to GQ: "The reason you do this stuff is not to . . . get your face in a magazine . . . You do this stuff because you care about the epic struggle to make America what it can be." At least he believes in the efficacy of art.