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Though Kehinde Wiley is best known for his portraits of African American men in contemporary clothes, posed in stances drawn from paintings of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, here he shifts from painting to sculpture. In both the lift and turn of the young man’s head and the open V of his zippered collar, this bronze references an eighteenth-century marble bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon (see illustration). In substituting male for female, black for white, and present for past, Wiley upends the earlier sculpture even as he quotes it. His interpretation encourages us to acknowledge the limitations and assumptions of representation and provokes a reconsideration of both stereotype and portraiture.
- Artist: Kehinde Wiley, American, born 1977
- Medium: Bronze with polished stone base
- Dates: 2011
- Dimensions: 34 x 26 x 19 in. (86.4 x 66 x 48.3 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Contemporary Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Modern Life, 5th Floor
- Accession Number: 2012.51
- Edition: AP 2/2
- Credit Line: Frank L. Babbott Fund and A. Augustus Healy Fund
- Rights Statement: © artist or artist's estate
- Caption: Kehinde Wiley (American, born 1977). Houdon Paul-Louis, 2011. Bronze with polished stone base, 34 x 26 x 19 in. (86.4 x 66 x 48.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund and A. Augustus Healy Fund, 2012.51. © artist or artist's estate
- Record Completeness: Good (61%)