Kehinde Wiley, 2012
Trim Size: 9-1/2 x 12-1/2
Contribution by: Peter Halley and Thelma Golden and Robert Hobbs and Sarah E. Lewis and Brian Keith Jackson
Kehinde Wiley, 2012
Known for his oversize paintings of contemporary African-Americans in heroic poses inspired by the great history and portrait painters of the past, Kehinde Wiley’s clever and ironic “reversals” have provided rich commentary on the nature of race and power in our society.
His work began primarily from photographs he took of young men on the street in Harlem that he remixed with a fusion of historic painting styles, including elements of the French rococo. As rich visually as it is conceptually, Wiley’s work has drawn attention since his earliest shows in 2001. In the last decade, he has become one of the most important artists of the moment, with work as relevant and resonant to the hip-hop generation as it is to high-end collectors and major museums.
This volume the only comprehensive monograph on Wiley’s work—offers an in-depth understanding of this important artist’s work. It chronicles both the earliest paintings and photographs and his recent forays into sculpture bust portraits in bronze in the manner of Renaissance artists.
Contribution by Peter Halley and Thelma Golden and Robert Hobbs and Sarah E. Lewis and Brian Keith Jackson
"As with most great art, Kehinde Wiley’s portraits reflect the time and place in which they were created. They also comment on the history of portraiture, specifically upending traditional European representations of power and beauty. The paintings are distinguished not only by their subjects—young black men cloaked in hip-hop couture—and the technical gifts of their creator, which are considerable, but in their tremendous (and somewhat humorous) appeal." ~ForeWord
"Kehinde Wiley’s portraits of men of color, portrayed as kings, knights, or saints out of Western history paintings, juxtapose issues of race and gender with ideas of power, and ask important questions about the role of young black males today. Kehinde Wiley…is a great introduction to the celebrated portrait painter. It’s a perfect coffee table book, with great content.” ~The Artblog
“This is the first monograph on Wiley, complete with gilt-edged pages and essays by art historians, and it’s the kind of art you wind up talking about as much as you look at it…fascinating.” ~Star Ledger
Los Angeles native and New York based visual artist, Kehinde Wiley has firmly situated himself within art history’s portrait painting tradition. As a contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists, including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, among others, Wiley, engages the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, majestic and the sublime in his representation of urban, black and brown men found throughout the world.
By applying the visual vocabulary and conventions of glorification, history, wealth and prestige to the subject matter drawn from the urban fabric, the subjects and stylistic references for his paintings are juxtaposed inversions of each other, forcing ambiguity and provocative perplexity to pervade his imagery.
Wiley’s larger than life figures disturb and interrupt tropes of portrait painting, often blurring the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation and the critical portrayal of masculinity and physicality as it pertains to the view of black and brown young men.
Initially, Wiley’s portraits were based on photographs taken of young men found on the streets of Harlem. As his practice grew, his eye led him toward an international view, including models found in urban landscapes throughout the world – such as Mumbai, Senegal, Dakar and Rio de Janeiro, among others – accumulating to a vast body of work called, “The World Stage.”
The models, dressed in their everyday clothing most of which are based on the notion of far-reaching Western ideals of style, are asked to...Read more
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