By applying the visual vocabulary and conventions of glorification, wealth, prestige, and history to subject matter drawn from the urban fabric, Kehinde Wiley makes his subjects and their stylistic references juxtaposed inversions of each other, forcing ambiguity and provocative perplexity to pervade his imagery. As technically impressive as they are conceptually complex, Wiley's portraits feature young black men in classic heroic poses, destabilising canonical ideas of white masculinity and power. In his related, ongoing 'World Stage' series, Wiley's heroic figures are depicted in front of colourful background patterns that make specific reference to textiles and decorative patterns of various cultures, from 19th-century Judaica paper cutouts to Martha Stewart's interior colour swatches. Wiley's penchant for jarring juxtapositions stems from his desire to complicate notions of group identity.Read More
In 2018 Wiley became the first African-American artist to paint an official U.S. Presidential portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Former U.S.President Barack Obama selected Wiley for this honour. In 2019 the artist launched Black Rock Senegal, a non-profit artist-in-residence program located in Dakar, Senegal. That same year, Wiley debuted his first large-scale public sculpture in Times Square, New York, showcasing a young African American man astride a rearing horse. In 2020 Wiley received France's distinction of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Text courtesy Roberts Projects.
Look inside the booths of five featured galleries: Blum & Poe, Goodman Gallery, Pilar Corrias, Roberts Projects, and Sean Kelly.View More Ocula News Are Contemporary Artists Any Good in the Kitchen? London, 4 October 2021
Phaidon's new cookbook The Kitchen Studio introduces favourite dishes and unusual techniques from artists Olafur Eliasson, Laura Wilson, and Kehinde Wiley, among others.Read More Ocula News Kehinde Wiley Pivots From Portraits to Landscapes in New Show London, 15 February 2021
Organised by London's National Gallery, the exhibition will include both paintings and a film when it premieres later this winter.Read More Ocula News Portraitist Amy Sherald Obliterates Auction Record New York, 9 December 2020
Works by Black artists outstripped estimates several times over at Phillips' New York auction last night.Read More
J. Marion Sims, sometimes referred to as the 'father of modern gynecology,' was a 19th-century doctor who conducted brutal, nonconsensual experimental surgeries on enslaved Black women without using aRead More Related Press Kehinde Wiley (and His Infinity Pool) Are Ready to Spoil Artists 4 June 2019, The New York Times
DAKAR, Senegal — The art star Kehinde Wiley is standing in the middle of his spacious bedroom with mint green walls looking like a little kid who can't wait to blurt out the surprise he's been keepinRead More Related Press Kehinde Wiley’s Tahitian works — an island idyll seen through a fresh lens 30 May 2019, Financial Times
On the island idyll, the artist has immersed himself in the lives and ways of the Mahu, a centuries-old community made up of transgender women (Mahu is the traditional Polynesian classification of peoRead More Related Press Bonaparte comes to Brooklyn: Napoleonic paintings by Kehinde Wiley and Jacques-Louis David to be united 21 May 2019, The Art Newspaper
Jacques-Louis David’s celebrated 19 th -century portrait of Napoleon on horseback will be shown alongside the US artist Kehinde Wiley’s dramatic homage to David’s painting for the first time this autuRead More
© Sylvie Boulloud Galerie Templon, Paris KEDINDE WILEY Tahiti - Kehinde Wiley 18 May—20 July 2019 GALERIE TEMPLON, PARIS – GRENIER SAINT LAZAREView More Related Video & Audio 'Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic' video series 17 April 2017, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Produced to accompany the exhibition, Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, this video series features the artist himself discussing his background, work, process, philosophy, and art historical influencesView More Related Video & Audio A New Republic: The portrait work of artist Kehinde Wiley 24 March 2015, Brooklyn Museum
Blending and contrasting contemporary clothes and objects with ornate fabrics, lush plant life, detailed patterns, and bold colors that reference earlier eras of art history, Kehinde Wiley's heroic poView More