Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps, 2005
The history of painting by and large has pictured very few black and brown people, and in particular very few black men. My interest is in countering that absence.--Kehinde Wiley
The artist with his painting, Morpheus, from 2008
Randerson Romualdo Cordeiro 2008
Saint Gregory Palamas 2014
This work glows, especially one whole room containing small portraits in gold leafed frames and painted stained-glass works lit from behind. You don't have to know anything about art history or painting to appreciate this work, it is just downright gorgeous.
The Two Sisters, 2012, 96 x 72inches
An added feature in the exhibition is the film documentary, An Economy of Grace, which follows the process from the initial street encounters to the sitters reactions at first viewing the finished paintings. The women subjects, most of whom work menial jobs, are transformed in contemporary couture gowns and wigs prepared by one of the top hairdressers in New York. The film also includes shots of studio assistants at his Beijing studio painting in the elaborate backgrounds. Wiley paints the figures and sets the stage and the assistants fill in the details. How else could he be so prolific?
I say more power to him.