Hey Black Family,
I'm back with another entry on African-American artist Kehinde Wiley. The other latest book he has published is called Black Light which came out less than a year a go (around May 2009). Also, after the pictures of Kehinde's work below I have a handful of YouTube videos and you can get more ifo about Kehinde and his work process which is great. I WISH I WAS TALENTED PAINTER AND I COULD ASK SOME CUTE ASS BLACK MEN TO MODEL AND POSE SO I COULD DRAW THEM LATER ON. LOL!
First, let me say that Black Light is a huge book that measures approximately 12.5" wide x 15.25" in height. YES! A behemoth of a book that is truly a coffee table book.
As the name Black Light implies, a good portion or most of the book is dominated in black. The front and back of the hard cover is black with colorful leaves/flowers flowing at the top and bottom edges of the book. The dust jacket which surrounds the book is cleverly shorter by a 1/4" inch on the top and on the bottom, too. By doing this you can see the effect of the flowers flowing from the dust jacket and onto the blackness of the hard cover book itself. Really, really nice in my opinion. You have to hold the book in your possession to really appreciate this little artistic nuance. My photo above doesn't do it justice.
The black motif continues inside with all the essays type-set with a really nice silver text against a semi-matte or perhaps semi-gloss black pages. The book and pages are bound with high quality. You can see that the pages are bound with that tough string you would see on certain quality books and not bound with glue where it would loose its adhesion over time.
The meat of the book itself which graces Kehinde's work is magnificent!! The difference this time around with this particular work of art is that Kehinde did his usual due diligence of photographing the young blood Black males. But instead of painting portraits from the photograph he takes of hos models, he actually uses the actual photographs this time around and superimposes his signature flowers with the photos. I haven't read any part of the book's essays yet, so I don't know if the book explains the process of merging the photography of the male models with his painted flowers. (Adobe Photoshop perhaps?).
This quite frankly is Kehinde's best book of art by far because of the life like models using real photography, the shear size of the book itslef, the overall beautiful presentation of the black themed motif and the PRICE of the book which goes anywhere from $50 to $75!! LOL! TRUST ME!! IT'S WORTH EVERY SINGLE PENNY PAID!!
One of the most STRIKING things I LOVE about Kehinde's work in Black Light is that most if not all of the models' lips stand out with a glow of applied lip balm gloss. To me this accentuates the bruthaz in this book that much more. It's like I really wanna reach and out and KISS some of these bruthaz. Subjectively speaking, one could say it might adds a feminine quality to the bruthaz which breaks down those stereotypes or that "box" of what it is to be a man, manhood and/or masculinity. And there ain't nuthin' wrong with that! Yet, I really contend that the glossy lips are so pronounced that I suspect the lip balm gloss is another play on light... as in black light. Ultimately, I find it DAYUM sexy as all hell to me!!
So overall an excellent book which comes pre-shrink wrapped so that when you buy your copy you'll have it in mint condition.
So, enjoy the rest of the pics below and read a summary by the book's publisher. Also, I have included 5 different videos below of Kehinde, his work and work process with links to Amazon.com and his website where the books are available, too.
OK, NOW ONTO SOME BEAUTIFUL EYE CANDY! HAVE FUN...
Los Angeles native and New York-based visual artist Kehinde Wiley has firmly situated himself within art history's portrait painting tradition. As a contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists--including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, and others--Wiley engages the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, majestic, and sublime in his representation of urban black and brown men found throughout the world. By applying the visual vocabulary and conventions of glorification, wealth, prestige, and history to subject matter drawn from the urban fabric, Wiley makes his subjects and their stylistic references juxtaposed inversions of each other, imbuing his images with ambiguity and provocative perplexity.
In Black Light, his first monograph, Wiley's larger-than-life figures disturb and interrupt tropes of portrait painting, often blurring the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation and the critical portrayal of masculinity and physicality as it pertains to the view of black and brown young men. The models are dressed in their everyday clothing, most of which is based on far-reaching Western ideals of style, and are asked to assume poses found in paintings or sculptures representative of the history of their surroundings. This juxtaposition of the "old" inherited by the "new"--who often have no visual inheritance of which to speak--immediately provides a discourse that is at once visceral and cerebral in scope.
Without shying away from the socio-political histories relevant to the subjects, Wiley's heroic images exhibit a unique modern style that awakens complex issues which many would prefer remain mute.
Hardcover: 56 pages
Publisher: powerHouse Books (May 26, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 12.2 x 0.6 inches
Buy @ Amazon.com
Buy From Kehinde Wiley Studios Official Website
(Look under PUBLICATIONS)
About the Author
Kehinde Wiley received his MFA from Yale University in 2001. Shortly after, he became an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem. He is represented by Deitch Projects, New York, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, and Roberts and Tilton, Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Brooklyn Museum, New York, the Miami Art Museum, Miami, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit.
Kehinde Wiley on The TODAY Show
Kehinde Wiley: World Stage >Africa
Kehinde Wiley On MUSE