fig.: The image shows artist Kehinde Wiley and director, producer and NYU film professor Spike Lee (iconic movies 'Do The Right Thing', 'Malcolm X') onstage with the portrait of Lee (in classical tailor-made hunter's outfit with ax in the hand in front of a wood glade), presented by vodka label Grey Goose in the spirit of its new product 'Le Melon' on 18 June 2014 at Crosby Street Hotel in New York. Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for GREY GOOSE; (C) 2014 Getty Images.
Kehinde Wiley's portraits of producers of today's culture
Filmmaker Spike Lee is the first culture producer whose portrait by painter Kehinde Wiley from the collaborative Grey Goose - Le Melon 'Kings of Culture'-series was unveiled on 18 June 2014. The series is inspired by the history of the fruit melon - the new flavor of Grey Goose vodka. The melon from Provence (France) is associated with French aristocracy who loved the fruit for its taste. But the 'melon' evokes inevitably in this context with the depiction of an ax or sword a historical double-meaning (keyword: French revolution).
At the Le Melon 'Kings of Culture'-series, three representatives of today's culture, selected from film, music and sport are immortalized. Billboard publishes a making-of article of the portrait of music producer Kasseem Dean (aka Swizz Beats) who is dressed like Spike Lee in a historical outfit. The portrait will be made public on 27 June in Los Angeles. The third culture producer is athlete Carmelo Anthony (Olympic Gold winner, NBA player and active in education/recreation community projects). Anthony's painting is announced to be revealed in July.
All three portraits will be auctioned in December in Miami - main parts of the proceeds will be donated for the good cause; the portrayed 'Kings of Culture' from film, music and sport will choose the charities.