November 11 to December 10, 2005
76 Grand Street, New York
Deitch Projects is pleased to present Rumors of War, a painting installation by Kehinde Wiley inspired by the history of equestrian portraiture. The installation features four larger-than-life canvases each updating a specific Old Master painting with a contemporary sitter, framed in custom-designed ornate, gilded frames. Soaring to heights of over nine feet, the paintings’ exaggeration of scale and high-keyed cinematic colour highlight Wileys interest in the aestheticization of power and masculinity.
Retaining the trappings of power implied in their sources, Wiley reproduces the rippling shoulders of thoroughbreds, the baroquely billowing fabrics, and the vague, idealized pastoral backgrounds but instead of polished riding boots in the gilded stirrups, we find Nike High-tops. The clash of centuries and societies heightens the sense that these men are riding steeds in a charged non-space outside of time, while the extraterrestrial greens and blues of the minimal landscape push the surreal aspect almost to the breaking point.
76 Grand Street