Archive for October, 2008

Bye Banksy, Hello Kehinde

You know it’s gallery season in New York when the parade of great shows just doesn’t stop. Banksy’s West Village takeover ends today, and Kehinde Wiley’s Soho invasion starts up tomorrow. Too good.

It’s double subversion. Where Banksy juxtaposes pet store and meat shop, highlighting the modern disconnect between our foods and their source (“mechanically retrieved meats”), Kehinde juxtaposes famous portraits and the urban everyman — begging the question: “Who defines heroism?” Both hijack long running cultural narratives to great effect.

And Kehinde’s new show Down threatens to go harder than usual, providing what looks like a direct rebuttal to negative views of young black men in American society, confronting urban crime through a lens of art history. I’m on it.

For more on Down, visit Deitch Galleries. Wiley’s work also appeared recently at the Harlem Studio Museum with the gorgeous, thoughtful The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar. And you never know where Banksy will pop up next.

wiley work via deitch; banksy via me

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