Kehinde Wiley: The World Stage - Brazil

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By Kehinde Wiley
Text by Brian Keith Jackson and Kimberly Cleveland, Ph.D.

Brooklyn-based painter Kehinde Wiley's acclaimed World Stage series inserts into the language of old master portraiture the very ethnicities and ethnic iconography that Western art has most excluded from it, or that Western art has portrayed solely in colonial terms. Among the countries and continents the American artist--currently the subject of a major exhibition traveling to Brooklyn, Fort Worth, Toledo, Seattle and Richmond--has previously depicted in this ambitious epic are Jamaica, Haiti, Africa, China, France, Israel, India and Sri Lanka. As technically impressive as they are conceptually complex, Wiley's portraits feature young black men in classic heroic poses, destabilizing canonical ideas of white masculinity and power.

This volume includes a selection of a selection of 22 new portrait paintings focusing on Brazil. Immersing himself in the local culture of Rio de Janeiro, Wiley incorporates the people, history and aesthetic of the city in each of his monumental male portraits. His models, chosen from the favela slums, reflect historically significant public sculptures found within the city. Oversize tropical flowers in full bloom, appropriated from Brazilian textiles, inundate the work with saturated, brightly hued colors suggestive of Brazilian exoticism. Likening African-descended, young Brazilian males to canonical figures from Western art history as well as Brazilian public monuments, Wiley renders masculinity both august and noble.

Text is in English and Portuguese.

Hardcover with jacket, 64 pages, 40 color images

Dimensions: 11.25 x 8.75 x 0.5 inches

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