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Artwork - Kehinde Wiley - Sleep

Kehinde Wiley

Contemporary artist, NYC

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Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley is an American artist lauded for his portraits of African Americans and people of color around the world. For centuries, the conventions of traditional Western art history have limited representation and shaped the way we look at portraiture.

His contemporary artworks paint a new course by incorporating elements from Old Masters like Peter Paul Rubens and Jacque-Louis David. By changing the compositions of historical and religious artworks with contemporary black subjects, Kehinde Wiley confronts our complicated socio-political landscape and awakens complex issues that otherwise remain untold. In 2018, Wiley painted Barack Obama’s presidential portrait - a significant moment in history.

The Contemporary African-American artist questions our views: what does it look like to be noble, graceful, and proud?

How do we, in our modern society, look at young black individuals?

“Painting is about the world we live in. Black people live in the world. My choice is to include them. This is my way of saying yes to us.” - Kehinde Wiley

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