Willem van Heythuysen 2005
Oil and enamel on canvas
8' x 6', plus frame
VMFA, Richmond VA
"Kehinde Wiley grew up on the violent streets of South Central in Los Angeles in the 1980s. When he was 11 years old, his mother sent him to art school where he learned to paint and immersed himself in art history as an escape from the reality in his neighbourhood. Today, Wiley is known for his portraits based on photographs of young African-American men whom he has approached on the street. Dressed in street clothes, his models are asked to assume poses from the paintings of Old Masters including Reynolds, Gainsborough and Titian."
READ THIS and take notes.
1. The SUBJECT of Wiley's work is the figure....explain his COMPOSITION as well as the CONTENT.
2. We are taught that "copying" is unethical. Wiley copies the compositions of existing works of art....so isn't he cheating? stealing? being dishonorable? If he's not "stealing," what is he doing? Explain your thoughts on this matter.
3. The background in a work of art can play many different roles but it usually supports the content. How do the backgrounds of Wiley's work support his intended content?
Kehinde Wiley: Artist's modern twist to Old Masters' portraits
Curator's Choice: Kehinde Wiley's “The World Stage: Israel”
Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace (this one is long)