NYC///MUST SEE SHOW: KEHINDE WILEY’S “DOWN” AT DIETCH PROJECTS

November 21, 2008  |  art, News, NYC, Openings, Origins of Style

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Wiley's "Christian Martyr Tarcisius," and the Auguste Falguiere sculpture upon which it was based...

Postmodern neoclassical painter KEHINDE WILEY wears his vintage European aesthetic influences on his sleeve, and in "Fallen," Wiley's new show of massive-scale (up to 25 feet!) oil paintings at downtown NYC's DEITCH PROJECTS, his inspiration has never been more literal. Based directly on a wide variety of classical European paintings and sculptures by old masters like Diego Velasquez, Jean-Antoine Houdon, Auguste Falguiere, and Stefano Maderno, the "fallen" heroes of Wiley's new series mimic their source poses almost exactly albeit in the ultramodern context of the urban hip-hop vernacular of urban Manhattan. Wiley's own explanation for the series is really quite simple: "Down is an answer to the negative views of young black men in American society. It recognizes an idiom that can be seen from a distance as a negative form transformed into something more fabulous and joyful." To give Supertouch readers a better insight on Wiley's process, the works from his new series have been presented below alongside their classical source material for closer comparison. HAVE A LOOK:

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"The Virgin Martyr St. Cecilia," by Stefano Maderno

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"Morpheus," by Jean-Antoine Houdon

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"Lamentation Over The Dead Christ," by Andrea Mantegna

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"Femme Piquee par un Serpent," by Auguste Clesinger

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"Christian Martyr Tarcisius," by Auguste Falguiere

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"The Veiled Christ,' by Giuseppe Sanmartino

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