Chicago artist sculpts life-size President Obama statue

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Former President Barack Obama's in Wicker Park right now- in statue form at least, thanks to local sculptor David Standifer. (WLS)

Former President Barack Obama's in Wicker Park right now- in statue form at least, thanks to local sculptor David Standifer.

He's etched creases in Obama's suit coat, wrinkles around the president's eyes, and an American Flag pin into clay; all of it done by hand after Standifer spent several days studying photographs of Obama.

"If you look at the cheeks and how they move and come down, that's not something everyone has on their smile," Standifer said, looking up at the sculpture's face.

Standing at more than six feet tall, this piece is meant to be a life-size representation of America's 44th president. No one paid for this work, yet Standifer said he's spent more than three months on it to date, using about $1,400 worth of materials. The clay is left over from his most recently commissioned piece: a tribute to a World War II veteran.

"I'm working on one person I admire, his heroism from WWII. It seemed to be a logical step to work with somebody else I admire," Standifer said of his decision to start working on the Obama piece.

When complete, he'll have the Obama sculpture molded and then cast in bronze once he has financial backing. He estimates that will cost around $100,000. But before that takes place, Standifer want's input from the former president himself. Specifically, Standifer wants to know whether to include Obama family dog Bo as a presidential puppy or as a fully grown dog.

The former instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago called this sculpture a labor of love and says it's an homage to his mother who, like him, admired Obama before she died.

"This was a president who really tried to bring the country together. Difficult as it was, he never stopped doing that," Standifer said, adding, "I have no doubt she's smiling down now saying 'that's it, that's my son, that's what I wanted to see you do.'"
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societybo obamabarack obamapresident barack obamasculptureartChicagoWicker Park
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