Filled with reproductions of Kehinde Wiley’s bold, colorful, and monumental work, this book encompasses the artist’s various series of paintings as well as his sculptural work—which boldly explore ideas about race, power, and tradition.
Celebrated for his classically styled paintings that depict African American men in heroic poses, Kehinde Wiley is among the expanding ranks of prominent black artists—such as Sanford Biggers, Yinka Shonibare, Mickalene Thomas, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye—who are reworking art history and questioning its depictions of people of color. This volume surveys Wiley’s career from 2001 to the present. It includes early portraits of the men Wiley observed on Harlem’s streets, and which laid the foundation for his acclaimed reworkings of Old Master paintings by Titian, van Dyke, Manet, and others, in which he replaces historical subjects with young African American men in contemporary attire: puffy jackets, sneakers, hoodies, and baseball caps. Also included is a generous selection from Wiley’s ongoing World Stage project; several of his enormous Down paintings; striking male portrait busts in bronze; and examples from the artist’s new series of stainedglass windows. Accompanying the illustrations are essays that introduce readers to the arc of Wiley’s career, its critical reception, and ongoing evolution.
Eugenie Tsai is the John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. Previously she was Director of Curatorial Affairs at the PS1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens, New York, and Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs for New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art.
Connie H. Choi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. She has contributed to several books, including Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 (Prestel).