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fall/winter 2010

"Andy Warhol said we all have 15 minutes. F* the 15 minutes."

In September 2010, Fashionoffice received the announcement that US (Los Angeles born) artist Kehinde Wiley, known for portraying young black men in the style of classical European painting while they are dressed in contemporary fashion, is now represented by Sean Kelly Gallery in New York.

Sean Kelly Gallery describes the motivation of the artist: "...Wiley looked to address the conspicuous lack of black subjects in the history of western European portrait painting. As a young child visiting the collection of the Huntington Library outside of Los Angeles, Wiley longed for a connection to a visual history that included people of color. Not finding it, he created it himself by painting portraits of young black men – models he hand-picked from crowds in neighborhoods like Harlem – placing them in the vernacular of artists such as Ingres and Titian. While painting his models in the poses of figures from classical portraiture, Wiley depicted his subjects wearing their own clothes from contemporary hip-hop culture."

In 2010, on occasion of the FIFA World Cup in Africa, Kehinde Wiley has collaborated with sportswear label Puma, which has sponsored 12 African teams. The US portraitist created art works inspired by three football players: Samuel Etoo of Cameroon, John Mensah of Ghana and Emmanuel Eboué of Ivory CoastWiley. (Video)

Recently, Kehinde Wiley became a 'Character Approved' by USA Network. For 'Character Approved', people, places and things are selected that are impacting American culture. "Character Approved honorees are innovators in their field who are influencing our opinions, our style and our view of the world. They surprise us and inspire us with fresh ideas. They are celebrated by their peers and have an authentic style."

Video: Kehinde Wiley, winner of the 'USA 2010 Character Approved'-award, speaks about his approach to art'. "Andy Warhol said we all have 15 minutes. F* the 15 minutes. I give you a painting and make you live for ever."

Source: Original article with video on


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