Artwork of the Week: November 7

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Kehinde Wiley (American, born 1977), Saint Francis of Paola. Oil on canvas in artist’s frame, 2003. Gift of Charles L. Borgmeyer, Mrs. Webster Plass, and C. W. Kraushaar, by exchange, 2005.290. In the special exhibition Speaking Visual: Learning the Language of Art, Gallery 18

Kehinde Wiley (American, born 1977), Saint Francis of Paola. Oil on canvas in artist’s frame, 2003. Gift of Charles L. Borgmeyer, Mrs. Webster Plass, and C. W. Kraushaar, by exchange, 2005.290. In the special exhibition Speaking Visual: Learning the Language of Art, Gallery 18

The art of “sampling” underpins much of hip hop and rap music and has had enormous impact on artist Kehinde Wiley. Sampling in music is the act of taking a segment of an original recording and incorporating it into a new recording. Wiley, a native of South Central Los Angeles who studied art at Yale University, “samples” Old Master painting formats, poses, and titles (such as those you would find in TMA’s Great Gallery) and combines them with portraits of contemporary African-American men. As Wiley explains, his art is about bringing “different traditions…together and gelling [them] into forms we could have never imagined.”


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