|Samuel Johnson, 2009. Oil on paper|
|After John Raphael Smith's "A Bacchante (after Sir Joshua Reynolds)", 2009|
|After Pontormo's "Two Men with a Passage from Cicero's 'On Friendship'", 2009|
"...Wiley’s paintings often blur the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation. Rendered in a realistic mode–while making references to specific Old Master paintings–Wiley creates a fusion of period styles, ranging from French Rococo, Islamic architecture and West African textile design to urban hip hop and the "Sea Foam Green" of a Martha Stewart Interiors color swatch. Wiley's slightly larger than life size figures are depicted in a heroic manner, as their poses connote power and spiritual awakening. Wiley’s portrayal of masculinity is filtered through these poses of power and spirituality."
|"Napoleon Crossing the Alps|" - Jacques-Louis David, 1801|
|Detail of "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps" by Kehinde Wiley, 2007|
Wiley's Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps (2005) is based on Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1800) by Jacques-Louis David, often regarded as a "masterpiece", now restaged by Wiley with an African rider wearing modern army fatigues and a bandanna. Wiley "investigates the perception of blackness and creates a contemporary hybrid Olympus in which tradition is invested with a new street credibility".
|Untitled Down (with bullet), 2011, Oil on paper, 24" x 54"|
His portraits are based on photographs of young men who Wiley sees on the street. He painted men from Harlem’s 125th Street, then South Central neighborhood where he was born. Dressed in street clothes, his models were asked to assume poses from the paintings of Renaissance masters, such as Tiziano Vecellio and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
|Painting for PUMA Africa Campaign|
The artist describes his approach as "interrogating the notion of the master painter, at once critical and complicit." Wiley’s figurative paintings "quote historical sources and position young black men within that field of power.” In this manner, Wiley’s paintings fuse history and style in a unique and contemporary manner." from Wikipedia.
He is a genius!