Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Kehinde Wiley

I first saw works by Kehinde Wiley in 2007 at the Columbus (Ohio) Museum of Art, where I was on the board of trustees.

Wiley is an artist from Los Angeles who got an MFA from Yale's art school.  His over-sized portrait paintings are highly realistic and colorful.  Wiley finds young black men on the streets, invites them to pick a classic painting that appeals to them, and poses them in the manner of the classical artwork.  Some of his paintings are modeled after portraits by Titian, Reynolds and Gainsborough.

The Wadsworth Atheneum shows a Wiley portrait based on Christ's pose in a 14th century Balkan painting, King in Glory.  The background is inspired by a 19th century textile by William Morris.


If a museum near you ever mounts a Kehinde Wiley exhibition, go.

11 comments:

Kate said...

It is a fascinating technique, which I have not heard of before reading your blog. I am not sure that I like all the colour and "busyness" of the painting yet I like the strength of the subject's face. I am now trying to spend a little more time "looking" at blog photos, too!

Tanya Breese said...

what a really cool concept...awesome portrait!

William Kendall said...

That is quite a work of art! I wasn't familiar with Wiley.

LuiZ FernandoS said...

I once saw a film about him and the portraits of several next door girls and it was moveing seeing them present at the exhibition oppening. His work is amazing!

RedPat said...

I like it, Jack! I'm off to check out your link!

jennyfreckles said...

Interesting idea and a powerful portrait. I'm not familiar with his work.

bill burke said...

What a creative piece of art. It's amazing how a creative mind works and comes up with such unique ideas.

Bob Crowe said...

I don't know the name but I'm impressed. If there is an exhibition at SLAM or one of our visits to NY I'm going. But how did the subject choose a 14th Century Balkan painting?

Lynette said...

Wow. This is breath-taking. Thanks!

Mo said...

What a great project, I'd love to see more of his work.

Kay said...

I really like how he captures his subject. The background, as much as I like Morris textiles, is a little much for me. It distracts me from the strength - and beauty - of his subject.