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Artists Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley

American Painter

Kehinde Wiley Photo
Movement: Identity Politics

Born: 1977 - Los Angeles, California

"My work is not about paint. It's about paint at the service of something else. It is not about gooey, chest-beating, macho '50s abstraction that allows paint to sit up on the surface as subject matter about paint."


Kehinde Wiley is a young, African-American painter who is quite literally changing the face(s) of portraiture with his sensitive, vibrant, and political portrayals of black folk, ranging from teenagers he meets on the streets, to fellow contemporary artists, and even former president Barack Obama.

Wiley made a name for himself for his naturalistic, brightly colored portraits of young black men, often with dramatic flowery backgrounds. With black masculinity often framed as synonymous with fear and violence in the USA, his generous and vibrant portraits challenge viewers' preconceptions of their subjects and bring young men, and people, of color into the galleries and museums they are so woefully underrepresented in.

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