Kehinde Wiley: Down
by Ariston Anderson
Those lucky enough to catch Brooklyn-based painter Kehinde Wiley's last Deitch show, complete with a live marching band performance at the opening, know a Kehinde Wiley show is as much about an experience as it is about the stunning portraiture he's known for.
Wiley has gained fame for depicting contemporary subjects—he scouts for models in the streets—mashed with French Rococo style and mythological stories, all to challenge stereotypes of African American males. His new body of work, "Down," is comprised of seven large scaled paintings that draw on German Renaissance artist Hans Holbein's painting "The Dead Christ in the Tomb," as well as historical paintings of fallen warriors. Like previous works, these paintings all feature young men from Brooklyn. The scale and complexity of these new works makes them a must for in-person viewing to truly get that Wiley experience.