July 29 2014

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getting down with kehinde wiley


The figures in Down, Kehinde Wiley’s new series of paintings at Deitch Projects, may all lie flat, but the California-born artist’s star is on the rise. Wiley has earned international accolades for his genre-subverting re-creations of traditional portraiture—previously the sole dominion of the wealthy and powerful—that feature young, unknown, and casually attired blackmen from Harlem, Senegal, and Rio as subjects. But Wiley takes them a step beyond the poses previously reserved for noblemen, judges, and kings. He borrows from Old Masters like Holbein, Mantegna, and Houdon to depict his models as fallen heroes, erotic subjects, and even entombed saints. Down is, ahem, up until December 20. Check it out.

Photo: Courtesy of Kehinde Wiley

Dept. of Culture