Kehinde Wiley: The Photographs


Kehinde Wiley found many of the subjects in his latest show — an exhibition of photographs going up tomorrow at Deitch Projects — at the Fulton Street Mall. “I go down there because it’s much like 125th Street, where young people come to congregate and show off and flirt and be seen,” says the artist, who’s best known for his grand paintings casting young African-American men in hip-hop garb against highly decorative, anachronistic scenes inspired by centuries of Western art. After years of using his photos to paint from, letting them wither on the ground of his studio floor, Wiley decided to show the source material itself. The fourteen pictures — a selection from his recent book Black Light, all shown in this slideshow — resemble his paintings, except that if you look closely, you can see dirt underneath fingernails and tears in weary eyes.