Pieces of a president

Behind artist Wayne Brezinka’s portrait of Barack Obama

Wayne Brezinka, an artist in Nashville, uses whatever he can get his hands on — found objects, paper, paint and even historical documents — to create a 3D effect in his collage work. For a portrait that The Washington Post commissioned of former president Barack Obama to accompany its coverage of his new memoir, “A Promised Land,” Brezinka incorporated various artifacts referencing Obama’s life and presidency.

[Review: The examined life of Barack Obama]

Lincoln photo Obama’s 2009 inaugural theme, “A New Birth of Freedom,” was inspired by President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address; Obama was the first president since the 16th president to use Lincoln’s Bible in his swearing-in. The image depicts Lincoln with his son Tad.

[Obama to take oath on Bibles used by Martin Luther King Jr., Lincoln]

Wayne Brezinka for The Washington Post

Metro card For Obama’s inauguration in 2009, Metro sold one-day SmarTrip fare cards featuring an image of the incoming president.

[President Obama’s 2009 inaugural address]

Wayne Brezinka for The Washington Post

Inaugural ribbon A 2009 souvenir inaugural ribbon

[From Obama to Trump: How the inaugurations looked in 2009 and 2017]

Wayne Brezinka for The Washington Post

Grandparents A family photo of Madelyn and Stan Dunham, Obama’s maternal grandparents, who helped raise him as a child in Honolulu.

Wayne Brezinka for The Washington Post

Basketball Pieces of a basketball are embedded in Obama’s face and hand -- a nod to his love for the game.

[President Obama’s basketball love affair has roots in Hawaii high school team]

Wayne Brezinka for The Washington Post

Golf balls Like many White House occupants, Obama became an avid golfer.

[President Obama begins Martha’s Vineyard vacation with a round of golf]

Beer mug This alludes to the 2009 “beer summit,” in which Obama invited Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge, Mass., police Sgt. James Crowley to talk out an unpleasant episode in which the officer arrested the academic at his own house.

[How one scholar’s arrest tainted the president’s image as a racial healer]

Tan suit Brezinka included portions of a tan suit, referencing an outfit that caused a sensation when Obama wore it, veering from his typical navy and gray fare, to a news conference in 2014.

[Twitter Nation distracted by president’s tan suit]

Wayne Brezinka for The Washington Post

Postcards from Hawaii Obama was the first president to be born outside the continental United States. He spent fifth through 12th grades in the Aloha State.

[Obama’s link to Hawaii not ignored by islanders]

Wayne Brezinka for The Washington Post

Kenya map Portions of a map of Kenya are included in this portrait, referencing the background of the president’s father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr.

[Obama’s ancestral homeland in Kenya had lots of hope, but got little change]

Program The official White House guide to a 2016 state dinner the Obamas hosted for Lee Hsien Loong, prime minister of Singapore.

Wayne Brezinka for The Washington Post

[At their 13th state dinner the Obamas have the diplomatic formula down]