Passing/Posing (Female Prophet Anne, Who Observes the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple)
Kehinde Wiley presents large-scale portraits of young black men as saints and angels, in poses inspired by paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In creating these monumental paintings, Wiley borrows poses, imagery, and titles from works by master painters such as Tiepolo (1727–1804). Dressed in their everyday clothes, the figures float over flat, brightly colored backgrounds suggestive of infinite space. By placing these "new" subjects within the context of art history, Wiley challenges the prevailing representations of black men in contemporary American society.
Oil on canvas mounted on panel
96 x 60 x 1 1/2 in. (243.8 x 152.4 x 3.8 cm)
Mary Smith Dorward Fund and Healy Purchase Fund B
Young black man standing in a dramatic pose with his head turned in profile (to his proper right), his eyes gazing at his uplifted hand. The number 30 is on the v-neck jersey he's wearing. A large, ornate halo surrounds his head and shoulders. The canvas is arched at top and is decorated with ornate and intertwined floral scrolls.
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