Kehinde Wiley Takes on Women in New Portraits

By: Joshua R. Weaver for theroot.com

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley

Contemporary painter Kehinde Wiley is set to debut his latest exhibition, “An Economy of Grace,” at New York’s Sean Kelly Gallery on Saturday, May 5. In the painter’s first exhibition featuring female subjects, Wiley uses his urban baroque style to celebrate the beauty of black women, who, he claims, are often marginalized as subjects in the art world.

“This series of works attempts to reconcile the presence of black female stereotypes that surrounds their presence and/or absence in art history, and the notions of beauty, spectacle, and the ‘grand’ in painting,” Wiley says.

Read more about Kehinde Wiley here.

Rashaad Newsome: An artist who fearlessly collages hip-hop, vogue culture and opera

Rashaad Newsome Artwork

Rashaad Newsome Artwork

When speaking of Newsome as a performer and the role of performance in his work Levai added “[Newsome] is cataloging gestures in a way that we have not seen before. This is evidenced in Shade Compositions, 2009, even further in FIVE, 2010 as well as in The Conductor. This method of documentation is less a statement about the artist’s personal intentions, and instead focuses more on archiving gestures in a community.”

Newsome is masterfully expanding the boundaries of language and gesture and asking his viewers to join him in this exploration. His work requires a deeper analysis of things thought to be understood all too well such as hip-hop, vogue (or voguing), gesture and body language. Newsome confronts and shifts the assumptions associated with each of these cultures and boldly calls for reconsideration, and maybe even slightly, reproach.

Read more about Newsome’s art here.