Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace

Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace

Friday, September 5 at 9:00 p.m.

Don't miss an intimate portrait of one of this generation’s most intriguing and accomplished visionaries.

Known for his vibrant, larger-than-life reinterpretations of classical portraits featuring young African-American men, New York-based visual artist Kehinde Wiley (top photo) has turned the practice of portraiture on its head and, in the process, taken the art world by storm.

Wiley recently embarked on an exciting new project: his first series of classical portraits featuring women. A Jury Award winner at the SXSW 2014 Film Conference, "Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace" documents the project as it unfolds, tracking Wiley’s process from concept to canvas and as he gets to know the women whom he selects to paint.

As with Wiley’s previous works, his models were street-cast in New York City and posed to resemble 18th-and 19th-century portraits of society figures, which inspire Wiley’s vision. Instead of posing the women in their own clothing, however, as he has done with his male subjects, Wiley envisioned each of his female models swathed in an original couture gown. To realize this vision, he joined forces with Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, giving rise to a unique and high-profile collaboration between art and haute couture.

At right: Kehinde Wiley, Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, 2012. Oil on linen.


  • Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace