Kehinde Wiley's masterful portraits fuse classical techniques with modern motifs, spotlighting the presence and vitality of Black individuals in grand historical narratives. If you’re looking for Kehinde Wiley's original prints and editions for sale or would like to sell, request a complimentary valuation and browse our network’s most in-demand works.
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Born in Los Angeles in 1977, Kehinde Wiley's early fascination with portraiture was shaped by the absence of Black individuals in classical paintings. His art journey began at the San Francisco Art Institute and later took him to Yale's School of Art. The dual influences of West Coast urban culture and the rigorous academic training of Yale melded to form Wiley's unique voice.
Wiley's vibrant, large-scale paintings eloquently address the politics of representation by placing contemporary Black figures into the setting of traditional European portraiture. His subjects, often strangers encountered on the streets, are rendered with intricate detail and posed in styles reminiscent of historic works, challenging the conventions of art and society. Wiley's global World Stage series further highlights his commitment to broadening the narrative, drawing in diverse influences from places such as China, Brazil, and Jamaica.
Drawing inspiration from Théodore Géricault’s Officer Of The Chasseurs Commanding A Charge, Wiley brilliantly melds bygone European art conventions with today's urban culture in Officer Of The Hussars, a hallmark of Wiley’s technique. He not only critiques societal constructs around masculinity and power but also crafts an alternative narrative. His artwork challenges limiting stereotypes, advocating for broader understandings of masculinity and power.