“Portrait of Andries Stilte II”, by Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley paints young African-American and African men recreating poses from Old Master paintings—in this case a portrait by 17th century Dutch painter Johannes Verspronck—though against backgrounds that combine the floral motifs of Victorian wallpaper with the colors of African textiles. Wiley does basically the same thing in every painting, so the cumulative effect is rather repetitive—but that’s kind of the point: young men both posing for a time-worn, European-dominated pattern and at the same time—quite literally—emerging as their individual selves from the patterns that entwine them.

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Portrait of Andries Stilte II” (2006), oil on canvas, 96 x 72 in., by Kehinde Wiley, at the Columbus Museum of Art

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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