Posted by: Rocky | February 9, 2010

kehinde wiley

Willem van Heythuysen, 2006

I first saw the above painting while visiting the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in early 2008.  It was displayed in a prominent position in the gallery and standing at 8 by 6 feet, it is hard to miss.  My immediate reaction to  the painting was that I liked it.  A lot.  The simplicity of the idea was really what appealed to me; placing a contemporary urban figure into a classical painting setting.  I liked the fact that I instantly understood what was going on, and that this simple juxtaposition raised further questions about race, class and art.  I never forgot this painting, but was reminded of it while watching a youtube video entitled PUMA presents: OF THE SAME EARTH which is about African  soccer and a painting that Wiley was commissioned to make for Puma celebrating African heritage.  Soccer, art and solidarity between nations?  Needless to say I was thoroughly entertained.

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