Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Kehinde Wiley

I've been thinking about the relationship - which exists in my own mind, if no other - between the portraits of Kehinde Wiley and Van Gogh's informal portraits of the postman and doctor. The recent NYTimes article says Kehinde will next be presenting huge equestrian portraits, but if so I hope his paintings are a lot better in real life than they are on-line. Does Kehinde have an agent or someone pressuring him to make stuff he's not ready for? Don't do it, Kehinde!


Anonymous said...

Kehinde's works are more impressive in person -- especially more than the thumbnails on artnet.com that you reference. For a better look, you should check them out on this PDF:

Also, he's repped by Jeffrey Deitch in NY, Roberts & Tilton in LA, and Rhona Hoffman in Chicago.

Dan said...

I've liked the Wiley paintings I've seen in person (all have been far better than the fairly hideous example you keep linking to). I have to confess, though, that I was a bit surprised to learn that the man's already earned his MFA. I would have guessed bachelor's, tops. (I really shouldn't be surprised, though, should I?) His sub-Currin, photo-based Old Master mimicry is in need of far more polish and nuance before it can match his outsized ambition.

All that said, and judging strictly from online pics for the latter, I'd pick Kehinde Wiley over Tom Sanford any day. Wiley's paintings are far gentler in their juxtapositions and lack Sanford's cloying references. (Then again, you're quite correct that Vincent's postman outclasses both.)

Martin said...

Okay, sounds like Kehinde has some fans. Hope I was clear that I have only seen his work in reproduction. I look forward to seeing the real thing.

Who was anonymous? The agent?

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