KEHINDE WILEY/THE WORLD STAGE: ISRAEL

The Jewish Museum is presenting Kehinde Wiley/The World Stage: Israel, featuring 14 large-scale paintings from the contemporary American painter Kehinde Wiley's newest series, The World Stage: Israel.

Art Exhibition previously on at The Jewish Museum in New York, United States.
From Sunday 01 January 2012 to Sunday 29 July 2012

Published by anonymous on Tuesday 17 July 2012.
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The vibrant portraits of Israeli youths from diverse ethnic and religious affiliations are each embedded in a unique background influenced by Jewish ceremonial art. Also included are 11 works – papercuts and large textiles – chosen by the artist from The Jewish Museum’s collection. All of the 14 paintings on view are being displayed in New York for the first time. A new acquisition by Wiley (born 1977, Los Angeles) served as impetus for the exhibition. The painting, Alios Itzhak (2011), is a nine-foot tall portrait of a young Jewish Ethiopian-Israeli man surrounded by an intricate decorative background inspired by a traditional Jewish papercut in the Museum’s collection. Wiley says his appropriated decorative backgrounds serve as catalysts for his paintings. The paintings represent a unique fusion of contemporary culture with European traditions and those of North Africa and the Middle East. Roughly two-thirds of the portraits in the Israel series are of Ethiopian Jews, others are of native-born Jews and Arab Israelis. The artist is driven by an ongoing exploration of globalization, diasporas, cultural hybridity, and power. Saying he knows what it feels like to exist on the periphery, Wiley likes to catapult often powerless, anonymous young men of color onto enormous canvases and into the visual language of the powerful. The large size of the paintings reflects Wiley’s observation that scale has been used as a measure of historical importance throughout art history.