Kehinde Wiley returns to Sean Kelly gallery to present his most recent collection of works with Trickster, an exhibit inspired by traditional European portraiture with a contemporary twist. Upon entering, one is greeted by massive portraits lining the steel grey walls of the gallery space. Intimidating and powerful, Trickster breaks away from his signature use of unknown models by using Wiley’s artistic contemporaries.
While remaining true to his infamous hyperrealistic details, Wiley examines the narrative surrounding the idea of a “trickster.” A popular figure in folklore, Wiley analyzes how the trickster is employed to disrupt the status quo, or to redefine societal norms. By using visual and figurative symbols, Wiley transforms the portraits into an analytical commentary on the ways in which the artists “navigate both the realistic and symbolic world.” Like a trickster, the artists portrayed have redefined boundaries, thus securing their spot in the art world. Wiley juxtaposes the traditional and Eurocentric style of portraiture with the contemporary society, and creates a complex collection of works.
Written by Camron Intern, Madisen Lewis.
Kehinde Wiley Portrait of Carrie Mae Weems, Eris, 2017 Oil on canvas 120.25 x 84.5 in Sean Kelly is delighted to present Trickster, an exhibition of monumental new paintings by Kehinde Wiley. A departure from Wiley’s practice of painting anonymous sitters, these portraits include a select group of extraordinary contemporary artists––Derrick Adams, Sanford Biggers, Nick Cave, Rashid Johnson, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Wangechi Mutu, Yinka Shonibare, Mickalene Thomas, Hank Willis Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. @seankellyny #kehindewiley