The Colored Artist Inserting Africans’ Reality Into American-European Portraiture Unapologetically: Meet Kehinde Wiley

The realism captured in commissioned patraits is often a reflection of both the artist and the subject, telling stories of various elements, attracting the eyes to details that a 1000 words may not be able to express while proportionately bringing to life details of delights to every one that comes across such potraits.

For contemporary artists and art lovers, expressions tell the story. When there is nobody to explain the brush strokes and hue of preference, Kehinde Wiley choses to rhetorically represent African-American and African-Diasporic subjects, steiking heroic poses in reference to American and European classical portraiture.

Born in 1977 in Los Angeles, USA, Kehinde has used his art skills and education to spread the historic relevance, impact and value African have made since the advent of cross-continental adventures and intra-continental occurences. This move by Kehinde have become his signature that a former UsA president contracted the commissioning of his official potrait to him in 2018.

Not your regular artist, his realistic paintings have been on tour in the USA, appeared in different exhibitions and proudly displayed at notable national museums. He uses his professional platform to highlight the message of how Africans should be seen as pivotal to global movement and progressive endeavours.

His uniques services have graced art-relative power spots such as the new Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station [2000], New York, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia [2019], The Box, Plymouth [2020], Williams Morris Gallery, London [2020], Centre d’art La Malmaison, Cannes [2020].

Kehinde Wiley was born in 1977 in Los Angeles, USA. He lives and works in New York, USA; Dakar, Senegal and Lagos, Nigeria. Kehinde received his MFA from Yale University in 2001. Soon after, he became an Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.

He was awarded the US State Department Medal of Arts in 2015. 2018, he received the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal at Harvard University, Massachusetts. He was honoured by The Gordon Parks Foundation, New York in 2019. He was awarded Artist of the Year at Apollo Awards, London in 2021. Wiley is the Founder and President of Black Rock Senegal, a non-profit artist in residence program located in Dakar, Senegal.

Wiley’s work features in the permanent collections of numerous prominent institutions including The Jewish Museum, New York; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York; Studio Museum, Harlem, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California.

Other notable places are Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, Missouri; Seattle Museum of Art, Seattle, Washington; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Zabludowicz Collection, London, England.