TOLEDO (13abc Action News) – An internationally known artist is in Toledo tonight. Kehinde Wiley is here for the opening of his exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art.
The exhibition includes dozens of portraits,sculptures as well as stained glass work. Many of the subjects of his portraits are young African-American men wearing modern fashion, but set against the backdrop of the works of some of the old masters. Wiley began painting women in 2012.
One of the great things about our world-famous museum is the collection is a masterful blend of the old and new. As you heard, Wiley also combines the two in his work. His work is found all over the world in both private and museum collections.
While he has painted stars like Michael Jackson, the majority of the people who he paints are strangers.The subjects in his work often wear sneakers and hip-hop attire, while being set against contrasting, ornate, decorative backgrounds that evoke earlier eras and a range of cultures, “My inspiration is life and the people around me. Almost everyone you see in this exhibition is someone I met in the streets by chance. I slow down and ask myself how can I create moments of dignity. I would describe my work as colorful, effusive, bright with explosions of flowers and landscapes.”
Wiley also uses horses in some of his paintings, including the one of Michael Jackson. He brought real horses into his studio to study them.
There are 60 works of art in six different museum galleries. The exhibition is free ,and it runs through May 14th. We’ve posted a link to the museum site if you’d like to learn more.
We will have much more from our conversation with Kehinde in our next Art Scene segment which will air on 13abc in the coming weeks.