Kehinde Wiley’s larger-than-life paintings incorporate a range of art historical and urban vernacular styles, positioning young African American men dressed in contemporary, casual fashions in the same poses as figures from Old Master paintings. The pose of the man here comes directly from a c. 1617 painting Saint John the Baptist by the Flemish artist Jacob Jordaens. Placing his subjects in powerful and often sensual poses, Wiley transforms expectations of masculinity, sexuality and black identity. By referencing Old Master imagery, Wiley also inserts black figures into the Western art historical canon from which they traditionally have been excluded.


  • Title: Saint John the Baptist II
  • Creator: Kehinde Wiley
  • Creator Birth Place: Los Angeles, California
  • Date Created: 2006
  • Location: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  • Physical Dimensions: 96 x 72 inches (243.8 x 182.9 cm)
  • Type: Painting
  • Publisher: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  • Rights: © Kehinde Wiley
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Art Form: Painting
  • Credit Line: Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Gift of Blake Byrne.

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