You’ve probably seen Kehinde Wiley’s paintings before, at least if you’ve been to an art museum. I’ve seen his large scale Baroque paintings first in the Detroit Institute of Art and again in the Brooklyn Museum. According to Wikipedia you can also see his work at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Columbus Museum of Art; Kansas City Museum; Oak Park Public Library in Oak Park, Illinois; Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, New York; The Jewish Museum (New York) in New York, New York; High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia; Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, California; Hammer Museum, in Los Angeles, California; Milwaukee Art Museum; and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Many choices!
I remember being very intrigued by the idea of having African American heroes in traditionally White conquest images and thought it was really great. My boyfriend later pointed out at the Brooklyn Museum that the ornate background patterns were mildly unnecessary because the sheer juxtaposition of the modern day garb and the Baroque pose was enough. While I agree I think the pattern just goes with Wiley’s style – however, it wasn’t until that conversation that I took a closer look at the background pattern and realized there were little sperm all over it! WHAT DOES IT MEAN!? I still don’t know.
Nevertheless I find Wiley’s work interesting and am excited to see this documentary! It will be showing at SXSW 2014.