Kehinde Wiley opened his third solo show at Deitch Projects in SoHo last night. The exhibition, DOWN, includes seven large-scale portraits done in Wiley’s signature style. Kehinde Wiley is known for creating his own version of contemporary portraiture that appropriates young African American men in the place of more well known portraits of old world power figures, religious icons etc.. For his newest solo exhibition he has chosen to depict seven young men from Brooklyn in poses inspired by the fallen warriors and saints that appeared in the old 18th and 19th century paintings of Holbein, Mantegna, Houdon, Maderno, Retout and Clesinger. The young men are shown in old traditional poses of religious figures or leaders in the moment of death or repose, but their expressions and dress are wholly their own. The largest of the portraits is a breath taking 25 feet in length and has an asking price of $300,000. The exhibit will be on view until December 20th, 2008.
Art in Review; Kehinde Wiley [NYTimes]
Kehinde Wiley “Down” At Deitch Projects [Highsnobiety]
Kehinde Wiley on the Difference Between His Art and His Cooking [NYMag]
Kehinde Wiley at Deitch Projects [The Worlds Best Ever]
MIA interviews visual artist Kehinde Wiley [Interview Magazine]
Kehinde Wiley + Deitch [This Hearts On Fire]
Kehinde Wiley @ Deitch NY [Dailydujour]
Kehinde Wiley “Down” [Deitch Projects]
Some of Kehinde Wiley’s clothing on Kern Alexander and Caro Atim Birungi designs flank his art at “Down” At Deitch Projects via Deitch Projects
Kehinde Wiley was not only displaying his artwork on the walls, but he also used this opportunity to display his new clothing line. At least 3 or 4 men and women were seen walking around the gallery appropriately dressed in Wiley’s brightly colored African inspired patterned jackets with fur lined hoods. They reported that Wiley plans on opening a store at the end of this month at an unknown location in New York City.
Kehinde Wiley’s new show, DOWN, follows his recent exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem, The World Stage: Africa, Lagos~Dakar . Much like the Studio Museum exhibition, Wiley often chooses his models straight from off the street. Deitch Projects quotes Wiley as describing DOWN as “an answer to negative views of young Black men in American society”. He positions his young men in a space that is traditionally associated with power, thus bringing young African American men into a traditionally exclusive visual environment.
Greg 1 and Greg 2 at the opening night at Kehinde Wiley’s “Down” at Deitch Projects photo by Art Observed
Flyer for the event via Deitch Projects