Kehinde Wiley currently has a show at the Seattle Art Museum. The work is epic in scale as well as content. When starting this body of work, Wiley was trying to solve a problem: major European museums had almost no people of color in their portrait collections. In setting out to correct the situation, Wiley has made quite an impact on the art world.
Wiley’s process is very collaborative. He goes out to the community and invites people who cross his path to serve as models. In the studio, Wiley works with these models to select a famous portrait to recreate using art history books. With his studio team, Wiley gets to work and the result is nothing short of powerful and awe-inspiring. Epic in scale, Wiley’s message resonates loud and clear.
I found the work to be compelling. If you’re in the Seattle area, this is an important exhibition not to be missed. After seeing it, the work and ideas will stay with you in a very good way. I dare you to see it only once. Don’t dawdle, it closes May 8, 2016.