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Kehinde Wiley: Paintings of a moment that never occurred

"By using subjects who come from underserved communities, creating a global conversation around who has power, who deserves to be seen in the great museums throughout the world, I don’t think I’m throwing any systems," he says.

"I think I’m simply pointing to moments of beauty, moments I definitely recognise as being worthy of being celebrated. I think in those small moments, that’s where art works at its best.

"It’s not about creating grand sweeping political narratives, it’s about finding quiet moments of beauty in the world, and for me, those moments happen to look like me."

He describes his work in striking terms: “My style is in the 21st Century. If you look at the process it goes from photography, through photoshop where certain features are heightened, elements of the photo are diminished.”

"There is no sense of truth when you’re looking at the painting, or the photo, or that moment when the photo was first taken. So in that sense, these are paintings of a moment that never really occurred, these are moments of hyper-reality.

Read the full interview with Nigerian-American artist Kehinde Wiley by the BBC’s Mark Mardell.

Ph: Elle SA

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