Kehinde Wiley

Tony Powell
February 12, 2018
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Black and white portrait of artist Kehinde Wiley
Tony Powell

Kehinde Wiley (b. 1977, Los Angeles) is a New York-based artist well known for creating vibrant, large-scale paintings of young African Americans. He earned a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale University School of Art in 2001 and gained national recognition when he was still in his 20s. The Brooklyn Museum presented Wiley’s first major museum exhibition in 2004 and recently organized “Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic,” a mid-career retrospective that traveled to six cities nationwide.

Wiley typically portrays people of color posing as famous figures in Western art. Through this practice, he challenges the visual rhetoric of power that is dominated by elite white men. 

(Photo by Tony Powell)