The first time I saw Kehinde Wiley’s work was, hmmm, I can’t remember.  All I can remember is that his urban spin on famous masterpieces was dope.

The second time I saw Kehinde Wiley’s work, I was standing still in the lobby of the Brooklyn  Museum, stuck.  Awestruck, uh hem, artstruck. Napoleon Crossing the Alps depicted with a brother from Harlem with a bandana and Tims…oh yes, I like, I like. At seeing this piece, I said to myself, “Self, isn’t that the work of the dude that painted guys from around the block, holding flowers, and paisley print as the background.”  A Google search verified for me that Kehinde was indeed that dude.

His brilliant use of colors, subjects familiar to those of us raised in Rough Hood, U.S.A., and his crashing the old with the new, makes his art and and seeing his pieces in museums not just an affluent, well-educated person thing.  That dude, who in the art community is That Dude, has taken the brush in his hand and introduced two distinctly different classes of people and brought them to the same spot–standing where I am, in the lobby of the Brooklyn Museum, artstruck.

How do you dig this Wiley’s Equestrian Portrait of King Phillip II piece?

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