Kehinde Wiley

Born Feb 28, 1977

Kehinde Wiley is an American portrait painter based in New York City, who is known for his highly naturalistic paintings of African Americans, frequently referencing the work of Old Master paintings. He was commissioned in 2017 to paint a portrait of former President Barack Obama for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, which has portraits of all previous American presidents. The Columbus Museum of Art, which hosted an exhibition of his work in 2007, describes his work as follows: "Wiley has gained recent acclaim for his heroic portraits which address the image and status of young African-American men in contemporary culture."
Wiley was included in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2018.
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“The backgrounds by design are a very key part of the conversation, because I want a kind of fight or pressure to exist between the figure and the background.”

Kehinde Wiley
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