Thursday, September 4, 2008

Contemporary Portrait

Le Roi a La Chasse
Kehinde Wiley
oil on canvas
8' x 6'

Another new find of mine, the work of Kehinde Wiley. We have one of his paintings at the TMA and I recently came across a catalog for the show, RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture that included his work.

The poses and objects in his work reference portraits throughout the history of art. His models choose poses from his collection of art books, in turn the paintings often represent something within the model himself (Ice T chose a portrait of Napoleon). Modern African American men melded with art historical references, these paintings are life size and commanding. Wiley simplifies the setting of the portraits, prettifying them in a way, which seems to make a bit of fun of the process as a whole at the same time as commenting on the reception of stature in history.

Le Roi a La Chasse is after Anthony van Dyck's portrait of Charles I of England.

Anthony van Dyck
Charles I of England
c. 1635
Oil on canvas
266 x 207 cm (104 3/4 x 81 1/2 in.)
Musée du Louvre, Paris


johnh said...

What do you mean by full size? The size of the referenced painting or lifesize?

A.L. said...

I did mean life size and corrected myself. Thank you, full size is definitely not specific enough.