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Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic
The Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic exhibition is on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond through September 5. Kehinde Wiley is one of the country’s leading contemporary artists. He is recognized for his portrayal of contemporary African American men and women using the backdrop of traditional European portraiture.
Wiley selects the subjects for his portraits through the process of “street casting” by enlisting young men and women to pose for his paintings. These individuals, ampoule wearing hoodies, purchase jeans, and baseball caps, are contrasted against ornate backgrounds that evoke an aristocratic style of portraiture. By replacing European aristocrats with black subjects, Wiley points out the absence of African Americans from such historical narratives.
Photos: Ervin B. Clarke