HARLEM///INSIDE KEHINDE WILEY’S “THE WORLD STAGE: AFRICA, LAGOS—DAKAR”…

July 28, 2008  |  Africa, art, News, NYC, Openings, Video

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kehindewiley.jpgHyper-prolific portrait artist KEHINDE WILEY's latest installment in his "World Stage" series "Africa: Lagos ~ Dakar" is now on view at Harlem's progressive STUDIO MUSEUM and the array of new large-scale paintings is staggering. It's a homecoming of sorts for the artist who, after graduating from the SF Art Institute, began his professional art career there in 2000 where he pioneered his now trademark baroque urban portrait style. Traveling to Africa where he set up residence in a satellite studio to seek out his models for the series, Wiley posed his "actors" to mimic historical public sculptures from Dakar, Senegal, and Lagos, Nigeria, which he then immortalized on the huge canvases comprising this installation. And while all the subjects in this series were unknowns he found in the streets, Wiley has some much bigger subjects in mind for an upcoming dream leg of his art tour: "I would love to do a series of paintings of African dictators. To have their company, do the photo shoot and make a whole series of paintings, that’s something I’ll try to work on. Because their egos are already out of this world, they would probably take the commission just because of that, to hang the portraits in their royal palaces." HAVE A LOOK:

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Wiley painting in his African studio...

"I consider art to be fun. You know, enough already with the high seriousness. You can do paintings and have fun and be respected and appeal to the general public without making your art difficult."
—Kehinde Wiley

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