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Kehinde Wiley Links Up With Riccardo Tisci For New Exhibit


Photo: Kehinde Wiley/Courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery.

From left: Kehinde Wiley's paintings Mary Little, Later Lady Carr; Kancou Diaovno, and Dacia Carter.

Painter Kehinde Wiley has been the recipient of fashion-world adulation aplenty, and it seems that Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci is also a fan. The two linked up for the painter's new exhibit "An Economy of Grace", currently up at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City.

Wiley is known for his paintings of African-American men, which have been showcased at the Brooklyn Museum and Deitch Projects. "An Economy of Grace" marks his first time painting female subjects. And while Wiley usually depicts his models in their own clothes, this time around Tisci dressed the six subjects. (The collaboration was sparked after Wiley and Tisci spent some quality time walking through the Louvre together talking about art.)

Wiley said in a statement, "I am painting women in order to come to terms with the depictions of gender within the context of art history. One has to broaden the conversation…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.”

The exhibit runs at Sean Kelly Gallery through June 16. But even if you can't make it to see the canvases up close, you'll be seeing plenty of Wiley's work in the coming months. Documentarian Jeff Dupre filmed Tisci and Wiley's interactions for an upcoming film, also titled An Economy of Grace. The painter also designed the cover of Santigold's new album Master of My Make Believe and currently has a solo show at the Jewish Museum showcasing his paintings of Israeli youths. As if that wasn't enough, a Rizzoli monograph on the artist comes out on May 15.