Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art presents an overview of the artist Kehinde Wiley’s career including around 60 of his oil paintings, stained glass, and sculpture.
His figurative canvases of African-American men, inspired by Wiley’s observation of street life in Harlem, mark the beginning of his focused exploration of the male figure.
In subsequent bodies of work, the artist took figuration a step further to examine the European tradition of portraiture. Appropriating the format of specific paintings by renowned masters like Manet, Wiley replaced historical subjects with contemporary young African-American men sporting fashionable urban gear: puffy down jackets, sneakers, hoodies, jerseys, and baseball caps. These pieces became part of Wiley’s signature style.
Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is organized by the Brooklyn Museum. Oklahoma City will be the final stop for A New Republic, which will also travel to Texas, Washington, Virginia, Arizona and Ohio.
Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Colonel Platoff on His Charger, 2007–8. Oil on canvas, 122 x 122 in. (309.9 x 309.9 cm). Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Gift of the Director’s Council and Museum purchase, 2008. © Kehinde Wiley
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