New York Based Artist Kehinde Wiley To Visit Jamaica


Concept NV is pleased to announce the visit to Jamaica of renowned New York based portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, April 22 to May 05, 2013.  This exploratory visit will facilitate preparation for ‘The World Stage: Jamaica’, a portrait exhibition to be presented at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in London, October 2013.  Mr. Wiley’s portraits are typically based on photographs, and include heroic portraits which address the image and social recontextualization of primarily, black and brown young men in contemporary culture. Over the years his extensive ‘World Stage’ series has expanded to include models from countries such as China, India, Israel, Brazil and Senegal.  These portraits incorporate aspects of the history and culture of each country and are often a source of national pride. Jamaica will now be added to this venerable line-up.

During his visit, Wiley will conduct photo sessions with people of interest whose portraits will be displayed in ‘The World Stage: Jamaica’ exhibition in London. He plans to immerse himself in the island’s cultural offerings by investigating sites of historical significance and observing expressions of contemporary Jamaican life.

Wiley will meet with students at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 4:30p.m.


Profile - Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley was born in Los Angeles, California, to an African-American mother and a father of Nigerian heritage.  In the early years, his talent and interest in art were recognized and supported by his mother who sent him to art school at an early age.  He graduated from San Francisco Art Institute in 1999 and Yale University with the MFA in 2001. His early portraits were based on photographs of young men who Wiley saw on the street, who were typically dressed in street clothes, and who he thought had a sense of ‘self possession’. These models were asked to assume poses from the paintings of Renaissance masters, were photographed, and then painted.  Paintings which were regarded as masterpieces have been restated by Wiley, with black and brown heroes replacing the original iconic figures.

Wiley’s naturalistic paintings of contemporary urban black models are described as a fusion of the styles of different periods, which tend to blur the distinction between traditional and contemporary methods of representation. They are also seen as ‘quoting historical sources and placing black men within this sphere of power’. For example Napoleon Crossing the Alps, by artist Jacques-Louis David between 1801 and 1805; was reiterated by Wiley, with a rider of African background, wearing modern army fatigues and a bandana.  Kehinde Wiley’s work is highly acclaimed, and has been exhibited worldwide and may be found in permanent collections both private and public, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.


Concept NV

Concept NV is an art ideas consultancy founded by Nicola Vassell in 2012 specialized in the development and production of innovative projects and cross-creative collaborations that fuse contemporary artistic strategy with stimulating new ideas  in fashion, music, film and trending social phenomena.


  1. New Time - 6:00pm April 23rd Edna Manley College


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