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St. John the Baptist II

© Kehinde Wiley Studio. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

St. John the Baptist II

Artist: Kehinde Wiley (born in Los Angeles, 1977)
Culture: American
Date: 2006
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
96 x 72 inches (243.8 x 182.9 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of Blake Byrne, A.B.’57
Label Text:Kehinde Wiley’s larger-than-life paintings incorporate a range of art historical and urban vernacular styles, positioning young African American men dressed in contemporary, casual fashions in the same poses as figures from Old Master paintings. The pose of the man here comes directly from a c. 1617 painting Saint John the Baptist by the Flemish artist Jacob Jordaens. Placing his subjects in powerful and often sensual poses, Wiley transforms expectations of masculinity, sexuality and black identity. By referencing Old Master imagery, Wiley also inserts black figures into the Western art historical canon from which they traditionally have been excluded.

Kehinde Wiley is the official portraitist of former President Barack Obama.

Object number: 2017.5.1