Shawn Michael Warren’s relationship with his well-known inspiration was facilitated via a painting.

The media mogul, whose renowned talk show and production firm had been situated in the region, was honored three years ago by the Chicago artist who painted Oprah Winfrey’s image as part of a mural in the city’s West Loop district. The artwork was organized by B_Line Projects.

Winfrey said that the painting “took her breath away” when she first viewed it in a video that Warren posted on Instagram at the time. Regarding Shawn Michael Warren’s artwork, she remarked, “I was so impressed by his artistry, the creativity, and the way he was able to capture a feeling of hope, inspiration, and strength.” On Wednesday, the artist and Winfrey convened in Washington, DC, to officially present a recently completed portrait of the latter that Warren had painted for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Winfrey seems radiant in the picture while clutching an olive branch and wearing a purple gown.

As she explained to the audience the background of the image, Winfrey said that purple “has been seminal” in her life. She became a cinematic sensation thanks to her performance in the 1985 film “The Color Purple,” and she is producing the next motion picture adaptation of the musical.

Acts 17:28, which says, in part, “For in him we live and move and have our being,” is her favorite scripture in the Bible.

Winfrey claimed that she was reminded of the verse lately when she was taken in by the beauty and light outside her Montecito, California, home’s window. “I realized that I am currently breathing and moving in God’s space,” Winfrey recounted. And now I’m residing in the dream that God gave me. Because I have no idea how I made it from Mississippi, where she was born, to Montecito.

Her photo was taken against the backdrop of her Montecito residence.

In a CNN interview, Warren stated that he and his buddy Darius Carter, a Chicago-born photographer now living in Los Angeles, visited Winfrey’s home and took over 600 pictures of her in her prayer garden, one of her most sacrosanct areas. “Normally, I give my models advice on how to pose, but since this was her first time, I told her straight, ‘You don’t need my help.'” For as long as I have lived, you have been in front of a camera, Warren remarked. In his remarks on Wednesday, he praised Winfrey and referred to her as his “friend and muse.”

In his remarks on Wednesday, he praised Winfrey and referred to her as his “friend and muse.”

“You had the option to select anyone, but you felt it was appropriate to bestow this honor on an artist from the city you called home during your ascent to fame,” Warren remarked of Winfrey. “We appreciate your hospitality, your faith in us, your fun nature, letting us take your picture, and your kindness.”

In closing her speech, Winfrey mentioned that she will turn 70 in January and that her late mentor, the poet and author Maya Angelou, had written a birthday poem for her 20 years prior.

“One of my favorite lines she says in the poem is, ‘I hope you continue to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. And I hope that gratitude will be the pillow on which you kneel every night,’” Winfrey said. “I want you to know that that is exactly what I intend to do. To continue to astonish a mean world with my acts of kindness, and continue to live in the space of gratitude and move and have my being in awe of that which is God. To God be the glory.”

(CNN, 2023)

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