Deitch Projects on Grand Street currently has on view 17 glorious photographs by Los Angeles-born/New York-based artist, Kehinde Wiley. Black Light showcases Wiley's highly stylized photographs which "thrust[s] the black male image, captured by means of light manipulation and digital technology, into focus."
Wiley's subjects are distinctly contemporary and all (except the subject in Sleep) don hip-hop/urban wear (LOVE the Etch-A-Sketch and Lego belt buckles!) whilst reenacting poses from classic, historical paintings. Using vibrant and busy patterns pulled from 1950's home decor magazines and Martha Stewart's 1999 home collection as backdrops and/or borders for his otherwise serene and regal portraits, the photos are given a slightly campy twist. The juxtaposition of the stately subjects with the colorful, flowery patterns is jarring but better illustrates what the show's press release says the works convey, "an intimate study of embattled psychologies whose adherents are at once flawed and majestic, canonized and misunderstood."
Wiley successfully reinterprets historical portrait painting by "imposing the contemporary black male figure onto an awe-inducing pictorial heritage replete with narratives of power, wealth and hierarchy," creating powerful and memorable images. See more at Deitch.com. Through September 26th.
After Sir Anthony van Dyck's King Charles I and Henrietta Maria, 2009 - See the inspiration here.
After Albrecht Durer's Self-Portrait, 2009 - See the inspiration here.
After Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres' The Virgin with the Host, 2009 - See the inspiration here.
After Jean-Bernard Restout's Sleep, 2009 - See the inspiration here.