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Encyclopedia > Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley is a New York based painter from Los Angeles who has situated himself firmly within art history's tradition of portrait painting. Wiley, as the contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, and others, appropriates the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, opulent, majestic, and sublime in his representations of young, urban, black men. The subjects and stylistic references for his paintings are juxtaposed inversions of each other, forcing ambiguity and provocative perplexity to pervade his imagery. By applying the visual vocabulary and conventions of glorification, history, wealth, power, and prestige to subject matter drawn from the urban fabric in which he is embedded, Wiley presents his young men as both heroic and pathetic, aestheticized and reified, autonomous and manipulated. Ultimately, Wiley's practice disturbs and interrupts tropes of portrait painting to locate, in his words, "class struggle at the level of sign". NY redirects here. ... Painting by Rembrandt self-portrait Detail from Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez, in which the painter portrayed himself at work For the computer graphics program, see Corel Painter. ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ...


Wiley’s paintings often blur the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation. Rendered in a realistic mode –– while making references to specific old master paintings –– Wiley creates a fusion of period styles, ranging from French rococo, Islamic architecture and West African textile design to urban hip–hop and the "Sea Foam Green" of a Martha Stewart Interiors color swatch. Wiley’s slightly larger than life size figures are depicted in a heroic manner, as their poses connote power and spiritual awakening. Wiley’s portrayal of masculinity is filtered through these poses of power and spirituality. Martha Stewart (born Martha Helen Kostyra on August 3, 1941) is an American business magnate, author, editor and homemaking advocate. ...


His portraits are based on photographs of young men who Wiley sees on the street, begun last year with men mostly from Harlem’s 125th Street, the series now includes models from the South Central neighborhood where he was born. Dressed in street clothes, they are asked to assume poses from the paintings of Renaissance masters, such as Titian and Tiepolo. Wiley also embraces French rococo ornamentation; his references to this style compliment his embrace of hip–hop culture. Similarly, the poses of his figures appear to derive as much from contemporary hip–hop culture as from Renaissance paintings.


The artist describes his approach as "interrogating the notion of the master painter, at once critical and complicit." Wiley’s figurative paintings "quote historical sources and position young black men within that field of power.” In this manner, Wiley’s paintings fuse history and style in a unique and contemporary manner.


Kehinde Wiley’s works reference paintings by Titian and Tiepolo, but he also draws from other styles ranging from the French Rococo to contemporary urban street. Kehinde Wiley’s exhibition Infinite Mobility recently appeared at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.


Kehinde Wiley Homepage


  Results from FactBites:
 
Rhona Hoffman Gallery: Past and future exhibitions (406 words)
Wiley, as a contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Giorgione, and others, appropriates the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, opulent, majestic, and sublime in his representation of young, urban, fl men.
Kehinde Wiley had his first solo exhibition at Rhona Hoffman Gallery in December 2002 and has since had solo shows at Deitch Projects in New York, and Roberts and Tilton Gallery in Los Angeles.
Wiley was a resident at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2001-2002 and earned his MFA from Yale University in 2001.
writewhatilike: No Poser Here (1178 words)
Kehinde Wiley talks about passing and posing -- the themes of his critically acclaimed paintings -- with an infectious excitement.
Wiley is working double time to finish the show, which is set to premiere at Deitch Projects in November.
Wiley is already at work on more traditional painting along with works in several other mediums and continues to take it all in stride.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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