AO On Site: Deitch Opening: Kehinde Wiley, New York September 3, show runs through September 26, 2009

September 8th, 2009

kehinde-wiley-deitch
via The World’s Best Ever

Two openings at Deitch took place September 3, 2009. In the smaller space on Grand Street in New York were presented works by Kehinde Wiley, an African-American artist known for paintings of contemporary hip-hop trend setters. His painting style is sophisticated and reminiscent of traditional portraitists works. However, in Kehinde Wiley’s current exhibit titled “Black Light”, one encounters a new path that the artist has taken in exploration of photographic medium.  Still using historically rooted references, he creates portraits of often religious connotations apparent in the positioning of the subject depicted and in the very scale of the work. Kehinde Wiley, thus, transforms the subcultural stereotypes of urban African-American icons to a fantastical realm. “Art is illusion” he comments. The exhibit runs through September 27, 2009.

Related Links:
Kehinde Wiley [Kehinde Wiley]
Heroic Hip-Hoppers [Village Voice]
Kehinde Wiley is the LeBron James of the Art World [Dime Magazine]
Kehinde Wiley’s “Black Light” opens at Deitch [Papermag]
Kehinde Wiley at Deitch [The World’s Best Ever]

Kehinde Wiley Deitch
The artist, Kehinde Wiley at Deitch opening of his show “Black Light”

More text and pictures after the jump…

Kehinde Wiley Deitch
Kehinde Wiley at Deitch via Design Scene

17 photographic depictions by Kehinde Wiley are currently displayed at Deitch Projects. The artist empowers the subjects of his representation by placing them within historical sources associated with the sacred. French Rococo, Renaissance paintings and contemporary culture of reproduction and consumerism are all intertwined together in the pursuit of the final product. The two dimensionality of the medium is juxtaposed to the effect of bright and “popping out” image. Kehinde Wiley’s work hence becomes a commentary on the flat stereotypes, and the artist’s attempt to defy the limitations of his chosen medium in exploiting its possibilities becomes simultaneously an act of despair and force.

Kehinde Wiley Deitch

Kehinde Wiley Deitch
Photographs by Kehinde Wiley for the show “Black Light” at Deitch via Design Scene

There are in fact, parallels, that run through the two exhibitions presented by Deitch Projects. Both Tauba Auerbach and Kehinde Wiley attempt to defy the medium they work with, both pursue this aim through play with illusion and spatial dimensions.

Kehinde Wiley Deitch

Kehinde Wiley Deitch

All pictures by AO unless otherwise noted