12:11 PM Carl Cruz 0 Comments

kehinde Wiley (American b.1977) is a painter best known for his naturalistic portraits of a African American in heroic poses. By applying the visual vocabulary and conventions of glorification, history, wealth, and prestige to the subject matter drawn from the urban fabric, the subject and stylistic references for his painting are juxtaposed inversions of each, forcing ambiguity and provocative perplexity to pervade his imagery.

Barack Obama’s portrait, with its bright colors and lush green background, will undoubtedly stand out from the more conventional pieces on display in the president’s hall. However, a closer look at the painting and its painter’s past reveals a bizarre subtext.

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Painter Kehinde Wiley, one of the foremost young artists on the world stage, reveals the artistic traditions that inform his work and discusses his current project creating monumental portraits of young black men in world cities from Mumbai to Rio de Janeiro.