Kehinde Wiley

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Kehinde Wiley


Raised in South Central LA, Wiley won a scholarship to study art at Yale before quickly rising to fame with his detailed paintings of black men (and later, women) in poses straight from the Old Masters. The pieces set out to counteract the lack of black figures in galleries and museums, echoing historical works in their use of light and form. The attire of Wiley’s subjects, meanwhile, places them firmly in the 21st century, while the detailed, repetitive backgrounds lend a signature intricacy. Wiley is currently based in Dakar, Senegal, where he also runs the artist-in-residence programme, Black Rock.



Did you know?

Barack Obama chose Wiley to paint his portrait for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Country of Birth


Auction Record


Sotheby's New York, 'The Virgin Martyr St. Cecilia', 2021

Notable Collections

Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA

MET Museum, New York, USA

Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis, USA

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA

Notable Exhibitions

Kehinde Wiley: An Archeology of Silence, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, IT, 2022

Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations Of Black Creative Pioneers, Somerset House, London, UK, 2019

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA, 2015

The World Stage: Jamaica, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK, 2013

Three Wise Men Greeting Entry Into Lagos, Pennsylvania Academy Of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, USA, 2008

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