KEHINDE WILEY PAINTS  “A NEW REPUBLIC”

KEHINDE WILEY PAINTS “A NEW REPUBLIC”

An artist’s provocative commentary on race and power in pop culture

by Maria Raposo

Kehinde Wiley’s body of works is more than pop-art paintings of rappers remixed with a fusion of historic painting styles.  At first glance, you can easily dismiss it as decorative dressing for the mainstream, but at a closer look, Wiley’s paintings reflect issues of race and inequality in our contemporary society. Even before the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Wiley had been working over 10 years to reconstruct the image of the black man in America.

Taking his subjects directly from the street, he casts his models into his large-scale conceptually provocative portraiture. Wiley presents them as proud young African-American men in surroundings found in classical white western paintings established throughout the history of art.  Set against a heavily patterned background, he replaces iconic images of kings and military leaders and even saints, with confident urban black youths decked out in the latest hip-hop street style, sporting baseball caps and hoodies. Through the use of heroic poses, he recreates the image of the black male as a stately prince with a modern day dandy attitude.

kehinde_Wiley_600h_kidsofdada_painting_article

Kehinde Wiley in his Williamsburg, Brooklyn, studio with his paintings.

Kehinde_wiley600f_kidsofdada_paiting_article

Anthony of Padua, 2013. Courtesy of Seattle Art Museum; gift of the Contemporary Collectors Forum, 2013.

The theatrical poses and objects in Wiley’s portraits are based on well-known images of powerful figures drawn from Renaissance and old master paintings.

Kehinde_Wiley_600z_Kidsofdada_painting_article

Sharrod Hosten, After Sir Joshua Reynolds Portrait of Samuel Johnson from the Black Light series, 2009 by Kehinde Wiley.

Kehinde_wiley_600ffA_kidsofdada_article

Right: Kofi Graham, After El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) The Annunciation from the Black Light series, 2009 by Kehinde Wiley.

Right: Mark Shavers After Sir Anthony van Dycks Triple Portrait of Charles I, from the Black Light series, 2009 by Kehinde Wiley.

Kehinde_Wilely_600b_kidsofdada_article

George, Lord Digby and William, Lord Russell, 2007,Oil on Canvas by Kehinde Wiley.

The artist often uses similar titles from old masters painting to add a sense of nobility to his young urban subjects.

Kehinde_Wilely_600b_kidsofdada_article

Triple Portrait of Charles, 2007, Oil on Canvas by Kehinde Wiley.

Kehinde Wiley_600a_kidsofdada_A New Republic

Napoleon leading the army over the Alps from series Rumor of Wars, 2007 by Kehinde Wiley.

Kehinde Wiley_600B_kidsofdada_A New Republic

Kern Alexander Study I, 2011 by Kehinde Wiley.

Kehinde_Wiley_600size_kidsofdada_article

“A New Republic” is on view at the Brooklyn Museum from Feb. 20 through May 24, brooklynmuseum.org.

Comments


Thea de Vegte on March 22 2015 at 08:57PM

Fabulos


Charleen Poetter on June 02 2015 at 12:30AM

Thanks again for the article.Thanks Again. Want more.


weightlossrumor.com on October 25 2015 at 03:59PM

I like this weblog very much, Its a really nice situation to read and obtain info .

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.

90'S GRUNGE WEIGHS IN ON FASHION

Smudged lipstick, lolita-esque nighties, & ripped stockings, ready to confuse & disturb

Chloe Mackey

Read more »
Share »

A SEXLESS SOCIETY IS HERE

Fashion rides the gender blending trend  

Maria Raposo

Read more »
Share »

THE HEDI SLIMANE EFFECT ON YVES SAINT LAURENT

How the designer remade the house of Yves Saint Laurent

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

NAN GOLDIN: THE BALLAD OF SEXUAL DEPENDENCY

The artist captures the essence of humanity and life on the edge

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

SYNCHRODOGS: “I must be dreaming”

We speak to the photography duo about synchronicity & the power of dreams

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

MEET THE ARTISTS CHINA CAN'T KEEP CONTAINED

Artists Sun Yuan & Peng Yu use dead babies & live animals in their creations to blur the lines of art & reality

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

JOSEPH BEUYS: I LIKE AMERICA AND AMERICA LIKES ME

What we can learn from artist about race relations and how to heal a nation    

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

THE COLLAGE RENAISSANCE

Contemporary collage is the new Pop Art collectors are buying into

Harriet Baker

Read more »
Share »

DAVID BOWIE PUSHED THE LIMITS OF MUSIC, ART & FASHION

Bowie was an artist and an explorer that embodied true individuality that our generation craves

Fiona Ma

Read more »
Share »

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY GETS HYPER-REAL

From Erwin Blumenfeld to Nick Knight, fashion constructs fantastical images

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

90'S GRUNGE WEIGHS IN ON FASHION

Smudged lipstick, lolita-esque nighties, & ripped stockings, ready to confuse & disturb

Chloe Mackey

Read more »
Share »

A SEXLESS SOCIETY IS HERE

Fashion rides the gender blending trend  

Maria Raposo

Read more »
Share »

THE HEDI SLIMANE EFFECT ON YVES SAINT LAURENT

How the designer remade the house of Yves Saint Laurent

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

NAN GOLDIN: THE BALLAD OF SEXUAL DEPENDENCY

The artist captures the essence of humanity and life on the edge

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

SYNCHRODOGS: “I must be dreaming”

We speak to the photography duo about synchronicity & the power of dreams

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

MEET THE ARTISTS CHINA CAN'T KEEP CONTAINED

Artists Sun Yuan & Peng Yu use dead babies & live animals in their creations to blur the lines of art & reality

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

JOSEPH BEUYS: I LIKE AMERICA AND AMERICA LIKES ME

What we can learn from artist about race relations and how to heal a nation    

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

THE COLLAGE RENAISSANCE

Contemporary collage is the new Pop Art collectors are buying into

Harriet Baker

Read more »
Share »

DAVID BOWIE PUSHED THE LIMITS OF MUSIC, ART & FASHION

Bowie was an artist and an explorer that embodied true individuality that our generation craves

Fiona Ma

Read more »
Share »

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY GETS HYPER-REAL

From Erwin Blumenfeld to Nick Knight, fashion constructs fantastical images

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

THE EVOCATIVE IMAGES OF STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

Eminent street photographers find beauty in the ordinary

Leah Sinclair

Read more »
Share »

THE ZINE SCENE IS BACK

Self-Publishing is Having a Moment and It’s Redefining Youth and Self Expression

Leah Sinclair

Read more »
Share »

PLASTIC PURGERY – BARBIE IN BONDAGE BREAKS THE INTERNET

Photographer Mariel Clayton Reinvents the Stereotype of the Female Form

Fiona Ma

Read more »
Share »

LOUIS VUITTON - SERIES 3 EXHIBITION

Nicolas Ghesquière: less mask, more man

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

REGENERATION OR GENTRIFICATION?

The changing face of London’s artistic communities

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

INSIDE THE CHELSEA HOTEL

The legendary New York hangout of rockstars and Hollywood royalty

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

IN CONVERSATION WITH OLAF BREUNING

The artist talks about the endless interpretations of his work and life

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

REVEALED: KURT COBAIN'S ORIGINAL ARTWORK

A dark look into the mind of Nirvana’s tortured frontman

Daryl Mersom

Read more »
Share »

ABOUT A GIRL: TEENAGERS IN POP CULTURE

Exploring media fantasies from saints to bad-ass sinners of female youth

Leah Sinclair

Read more »
Share »

ART GONE VIRAL

Performance art videos are paving the way for activism through social media

Leah Sinclair

Read more »
Share »

IN CONVERSATION WITH ARTIST TOM LEAMON

The ritual experiments of painting and poetry

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

COLLAGE ARTIST HOLLY-ANNE BUCK/COLLAGISM

We talk to the artist about playing with abstraction & reconstructing reality

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

FROM UNISEX TO ANTI-FASHION

Meet Rudi Gernreich, the first gender blender fashion activist

Alessandro Esculapio

Read more »
Share »

THE REVIVAL OF WARP N’ WEFT

From artisan to art; the lost craft of tapestry is making a comeback

KOD Staff

Read more »
Share »

THE ALCHEMY OF COLLAGE: ARTISTS IRINA & SILVIU SZEKELY

Art is not art if it doesn’t generate misrepresentation, confusion, anger or sarcasm

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

THE CREATIVE CLASS: MAKING IT THEIR WAY

Photographer Francesca Allen captures the talented, genuine and real

KOD Staff

Read more »
Share »

'80S ICON KEITH HARING’S POP SHOP

The Art and Commerce of Giving Back

Alessandro Esculapio

Read more »
Share »

THE DEATH OF BRONSON

The art and literature of "Charles Bronson"; Britain's most notorious prisoner

KOD Staff

Read more »
Share »

THE PSYCHEDELIC LOVE-IN OF THE FABULOUS COCKETTES

San Francisco’s original underground glitter troupe

KOD Staff

Read more »
Share »

THE MODERN DAY DANDY CULT

Old fashioned values and classic sartorial style returns to mens fashion

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »
Top