a celebrated artist of mixed nigerian and african-american descent, kehinde wiley  is known for portraits which initially seem merely realistic depictions, but, in fact, are a brilliant investigation of race, power, and the politics of representation. wiley's colourful paintings are provokingly out of context, yet aim to give new meaning to the social codes of gesture and dress, past and present, while challenging corny stereotypes about masculinity and class today, in both the u.s.a. and around the planet.
currently on at the brooklyn museum in new york city is the first museum overview of wiley's creative output. the show is entitled kehinde wiley - a new republic, and presents approximately 60 highlights from his work so far, ranging from early portrait paintings, inspired by the artist’s keen observation of street life in harlem and set to the visual language of classical european portraiture, to bronze busts, his recent portraits of women from the economy of grace series, and new stained-glass paintings [on through may 24]. location: 200 eastern parkway [prospect heights].
© kehinde wiley - napoleon leading the army over the alps  and shantavia beale II  - courtesy sean kelly, nyc