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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence

de Young Museum / San Francisco / Art

Kehinde Wiley takes the Old Master style of portraiture and makes it his own. He paints Black and Brown young men, casually dressed and boldly positioned against patterned backgrounds. It was a distinct cultural moment when Wiley unveiled, in 2018, his stunning presidential portrait of Barack Obama. Ten years earlier, Wiley created a series inspired by Hans Holbein the Younger’s painting The Dead Christ in the Tomb (1521–22). He used the motif of the fallen figure to comment on the silence surrounding systemic violence against Black people. Wiley expands upon this series in a new body of paintings and sculptures, damning what he calls “an archaeology of silence.” —C.M.

de Young Museum 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
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