2015 AIGA 50 Books|50 Covers, winner
Celebrated for his classically styled paintings that depict African American men in heroic poses, Kehinde Wiley is among the expanding ranks of prominent black artists—such as Sanford Biggers, Yinka Shonibare, Mickalene Thomas, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye—who are reworking art history and questioning its depictions of people of color. Co-published with the Brooklyn Museum of Art for the major touring retrospective, this volume surveys Wiley’s career from 2001 to the present. It includes early portraits of the men Wiley observed on Harlem’s streets, and which laid the foundation for his acclaimed reworkings of Old Master paintings by Titian, van Dyke, Manet, and others, in which he replaces historical subjects with young African American men in contemporary attire: puffy jackets, sneakers, hoodies, and baseball caps. Also included is a generous selection from Wiley’s ongoing World Stage project; several of his enormous Down paintings; striking male portrait busts in bronze; and examples from the artist’s new series of stained glass windows. Accompanying the illustrations are essays that introduce readers to the arc of Wiley’s career, its critical reception, and ongoing evolution.
Also published as an eBook.