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March 6, 2012 3:42 pm

Art Exhibition: Kehinde Wiley at The Jewish Museum of New York

avatar by Deby Medrez Pier

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Wiley's painting Alios Itzhak, recently acquired by The Jewish Museum, portrays an Ethiopian Jewish Israeli man entwined in an ornamental background based on a papercut in the museum's collection.

Kehinde Wiley  is a New York-based portrait painter, who is known for his highly naturalistic paintings of contemporary urban men in heroic poses.

Wiley will be having an exhibition of his new series at The Jewish Museum of New York titled “The World Stage: Israel” from March 9th to July 29th.

The series constitutes 14 paintings which are theme based on the exploration of the global diaspora. The artist chose to portray men of diverse religions and ethnicities living in Israel. He scouted his models in discos, malls, bars, and sporting venues in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Lod.

The men portrayed in this series vary from Ethiopians to Arabs and Jews, in order to express a modern sensibility that supersedes religious and ethnic affiliations. The backgrounds of the elaborate portraits are vivid and ornate, inspired by Jewish ceremonial art .

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In this series Wiley challenges our traditional views of portraiture and coexistence.

To view more of Wiley’s work, click here.

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