Brooklyn-based artist Kehinde Wiley creates large-scale figurative paintings as firmly rooted in contemporary design, music, literature, and sociopolitical issues as they are in the history of portraiture. His recent bodies of work have fallen under the meta-title of The World Stage, reflecting the artist’s travel to locations around the globe where he establishes “satellite studios.” Working in each temporary space, Wiley creates a series of paintings deeply informed by the surrounding environment. These works incorporate the cultural milieu of the country or region where they are conceived, reflecting the indigenous artistic traditions and popular imagery.
Wiley was born in Los Angeles, CA, in 1977. He received an MFA from the Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT, in 2001. He has had numerous solo exhibitions at venues that include Deitch Projects, New York, NY (2008, 04); Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, CA (2006); and Sorrywereclosed, Brussels, Belgium (2006). His work has been featured in Recognize, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (2008); Black Alphabet – contexts of contemporary African-American art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2006); Down By Law, Wrong Gallery at the Sondra Gilman Gallery, part of the Whitney Biennial, New York, NY (2006); and Redefined: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Collection, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2006). In 2008 Wiley was awarded the prestigious National Arts Award presented by Americans for the Arts, New York, NY.