Kehinde Wiley’s World

By Jonathan Adams Jul 17, 2008

If you don’t know his name you will probably recognized his art. Kehinde Wiley is a New York painter that has become legendary for his depictions of Hip Hop culture and its icons. Wikipedia describes the artist’s work like this:

Wiley’s paintings often blur the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation. Rendered in a realistic mode –– while making references to specific old master paintings –– Wiley creates a fusion of period styles, ranging from French rococo, Islamic architecture and West African textile design to urban hip–hop and the "Sea Foam Green" of a Martha Stewart Interiors color swatch. Wiley’s slightly larger than life size figures are depicted in a heroic manner, as their poses connote power and spiritual awakening. Wiley’s portrayal of masculinity is filtered through these poses of power and spirituality.

Kehinde Wiley’s latest ( and first solo) exhibit is opening at Studio Museum in Harlem today. Called "The World Stage," the Brooklyn man traveled to father’s home country Lagos and to other parts of the world for inspiration for this project. "The idea is to sort of use the experience of Black American popular culture that has been beamed out into the world and collect it and trace it and track it." The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar, July 17 through October 26, The Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 W. 125 St., New York, (212) 864-4500,