The first comes from a New York Times profile of Wiley:. His portraits initially depicted African-American men against rich textile or wallpaper backgrounds whose patterns he has likened to abstractions of sperm. Some of the subjects were famous rap and sports stars , others not. Here, Wiley ostensibly observed that the swirling, abstract backgrounds he favors look a bit like sperm — not that they are intended as representations of semen.
Kehinde Wiley born February 28,  is an American portrait painter based in New York City, who is known for his highly naturalistic paintings of African Americans, frequently referencing the work of Old Master paintings. He was commissioned in to paint a portrait of former President Barack Obama for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery , which has portraits of all previous American presidents. The Columbus Museum of Art , which hosted an exhibition of his work in , describes his work as follows: "Wiley has gained recent acclaim for his heroic portraits which address the image and status of young African-American men in contemporary culture. Wiley was included in Time magazine's Most Influential People of Wiley was born in Los Angeles, California. His father is a Yoruba from Nigeria , and his mother is African American.
This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. Kehinde Wiley did not depict Obama in the Oval Office. Some people loved the bold approach and reimagining of what a presidential portrait should be.
In Wiley's version, a young contemporary African-American male rider wears army fatigues, a white bandanna, tan boots, red sweatbands on his wrists, and a flowing golden cloak around his shoulders. The composition is the same as David's masterpiece, with the figure gesturing upward with his tattooed right arm while sitting confidently atop a rearing white horse, upon a rocky landscape. Wiley also signed and dated the work in the same place as David, on the horse's breastplate.