Kehinde Wiley’s “St. Andrew” (oil and enamel on canvas in an antiquated frame with gilded ornament) of 2006.
A young man in contemporary street-wear straddles the cross on which he will die. The unusual cross is associated with St. Andrew, a disciple of Christ who was executed for refusing to renounce his faith.
Kehinde Wiley poses his contemporary St. Andrew against rich brocade that comes to life as it winds over the figure.
The subject is painted in a powerful and dramatic Baroque style in strong contrast to the flat background.
Born in Los Angeles in 1977, Kehinde Wiley now lives and works in New York. He earned his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1999 and his MFA from Yale in 2001. He holds an honorary doctorate from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Represented by New York gallerist Sean Kelly, Wiley
“has firmly situated himself within art history’s portrait painting tradition.
“As a contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists, including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, among others,
“Wiley engages the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, majestic, and the sublime in his representation of urban, black and brown men found throughout the world.”
Kehinde Wiley, Chrysler Museum of Art