Kehinde Wiley was compelled to be an artist early on in life.  Born in 1977, he’s the son of a Nigerian father and an African-American mother.  As a child, his mom supported his enthusiasm for art, by enrolling him in art classes.  Wiley says he first took an interest at the age of 11, and he spent a short time at an art school in Russia, when he was 12.  Estranged from his father early on, he went to Nigeria when he was 20, to trace his roots and meet him.  A native of Los Angeles, he earned his BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute, and received his MFA from Yale’s School of Art in 2001.

A child of hip-hop, Wiley’s work is primarily influenced by, “classical European paintings of noblemen, royalty and aristocrats.”  Viacom used his works in their promotion of their annual Video Music Awards and Hip-Hop Honors and Pop artist Santigold used his art for the cover of her second album…wileywithicet

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Now the hit TV show “Empire,” uses his works as a backdrop in Lucious Lyon’s mansion, displayed throughout his home.  An aspect of the show only mentioned by Naomi Campbell’s character last week, it’s been present since the show’s first episode…

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Beyond these prominent displays of his work, Wiley’s art is now used in different aspects of fashion…

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for more on this 20th century accomplished artist, go to his website at… http://kehindewiley.com/works/haiti/

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