My Cart


Kehinde Wiley


My favourite piece from Kehinde Wiley has to be his Portrait of Natasha Zamor.
Natasha Zamor
I love everything about it. His use of vibrant colour is fantastic.
The way she looks like she is standing in front of De Gournay wallpaper. The flowers look like a backdrop, but then you see them snaking through her hair and body.
The subtle shine of red and purple in her hair is something I didn’t notice at first.
There is so much detail in this painting it’s one of those pieces you can look at for a long time, and still find something new.

It seems to be part of his signature style to make it look like the wallpaper in the background is coming alive. You can also see it in this piece.
The Sisters Zénaïde and Charlotte Bonaparte
Look at how the green parts of the plant are reaching out to touch the sisters and the yellow petals are floating in front of them.
As a wallpaper designer I can’t help but be enchanted by the walls coming to life.

It is no surprise to find out that Wiley was influenced in his early life by William Morris. He first saw the designs in the 80s whilst helping his mother sell vintage items. 
Wiley has created a whole exhibition called 'The Yellow Wallpaper' which was shown in 2020 at the William Morris Gallery in London.
yellow wallpaper
Both this collection and  ‘An Economy Of Grace’ specifically focuses on black women. A lot of his previous portraits are of men. You can see more of these here.
The planning that has gone into these exhibitions is immense.
In 'An Economy Of Grace' Wiley chose to use poses from traditional society portraits, and collaborated with Riccardo Tisci to create each gown.
Dacia Carter
The gown on this painting is so magnificent, and so skilfully painted. What exquisite talent it must take to paint the translucent cape and sleeves! 
It always impresses me when artists work to large scales. The focus it must take to work on a small bit, and then keep checking the coherence of the whole painting.
You can see here the size of the portraits.
kehinde wiley
The models were all cast from the streets of New York. Can you imagine being picked to be the focus of such beautiful paintings?
Wiley addresses the underrepresentation of black women in art, especially in the starring role.
In his own words - 
‘This series of works attempts to reconcile the presence of black female stereotypes that surrounds their presence and/or absence in art history, and the notions of beauty, spectacle, and the ‘grand’ in painting.”
Looking at these unique paintings, can you believe Wiley was scared to paint women? He's achieved something so amazing.
Any artist that is doubting themselves should take heed of this (including myself). Look what people can achieve when they put their fear aside and pick up a paintbrush. Imagine if he had let his doubts overwhelm him, we would never have seen these important and remarkable images.
yellow wallpaper exhibition
I found it quite hard to find prints for sale, I imagine they are strictly LTD Edition. 
Try the artists official website or one of the galleries he has exhibited at for more information. I personally found his Instagram the best to follow. 
There is also a film on 'An Economy Of Grace' which looks really interesting. I liked seeing the models he chose from normal everyday women, just going about their day.
Watching him paint is also fascinating. You can see the trailer here. 




Leave a Comment