Kehinde Wiley

Museum de KAdE in Amersfoort is currently showing the exhibition “Tell Me Your Story” where African-American art can be seen from the 1920s to the present. The art movement is divided into five periods, the last of which, the Bloom Generation, appealed to me the most and especially the paintings of Kehinde Wiley.

Wiley was the only name at the exhibition that I’ve heard of, as his state portrait of Barack Obama and his painting Napoleon Leading The Army Over The Alps are well known.
He mainly paints portraits of coloured people in a powerful pose, with the background often consisting of a pattern of flowers. The lavish use of colour and flowery backgrounds are impressive. In fact, you can almost interpret all these paintings as a kind of state portraits.


Left: Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps, 2005 by Kehinde Wiley
Right: Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1801 by Jacques-Louis David