|While the guard wasn't looking I did craftily take this photo of the painting that blew my mind the minute I saw it.|
The name of the artist is Kehinde Wiley. I won't forget it again.
The artist's name was driving me nuts. Ever since I posted that painting that I love at the DIA and couldn't recall the name of the artist--only that it had a K in it--I've been searching him out. I found him this afternoon. The painter's name is Kehinde Wiley. He's thirty six years old and paints one hell of a portrait. You can read his biography here, from the Sean Kelly Gallery website.
What attracted me to his work was his genius of putting a black man in ordinary street clothes in a settting previously reserved to famous, white historical figures. --His painting is genius too. I pulled a few more pieces of his work from Kehinde Wiley images so you can see how he handles the backgrounds in portraits: FLAT HISTORICAL AND ETHNIC PATTERNS that sometimes envelope the subject and sometimes not. In most cases, the backgrounds are wallpaper--graphics--with the figures painted very life-like. He did a really great portrait of L.L. Cool J, noted rapper and actor. (TV fans, me, watch him in NCIS Los Angeles).
So the next time, you're wondering how to handle a background on a portrait you're doing, Remember Kehinde Wiley's extrordinary solution. It's not for everyone, but it is full of life, vigor and excitement.
|These are individual works. All are very large--life size. They were just grouped together.|
I think the backgrounds show the artist's background-- A Black American man with Nigerian roots who studied