For the twenty people in the back who aren’t familiar with the talent of Kehinde Wiley, don’t worry, he’s showcasing his talent in the latest issue of GQ Magazine.
The 36-year-old painter has become one of the art world’s brightest stars, specializing in showcasing paintings that insert “brown faces” into the Western art they have long been removed from. Wiley’s work has been featured in The Columbus Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and many other public collections through the world.
His paintings feature portraits of rappers, athletes, and street kids who inspire and personify Wiley’s vision. His most famous work feature Hip-Hop legends such as The Notorious B.I.G., Michael Jackson, and Ice-T. But in GQ’s April issue, writer Wyatt Mason tags along with the talented Nigerian painter to witness first-hand his approach, learn what constantly inspires his vision, and tries to understand what he’s working to achieve through art.
In the piece, Kehinde speaks on ignoring calls from the King of Pop (“I ignored him, because quite honestly I thought it was a prank.”), what his portrait work offers his subjects (“Fuck the fifteen minutes. I’m going to give you a painting, and I’ll make you live forever.”), and more in the exclusive chat that you can read in full on GQ.com.