Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Art of Fashion-Kehinde Wiley

Riccardo Tisci is incredibly gifted,” writes artist Kehinde Wiley from his great studio in Beijing, where he’s putting the finishing art of touches on “An Economy of Grace,” a series of African-American cute female portraits inspired by historical oil paintings that will be shown at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York.  It’s the first time Wiley has focused solely on the fairer sex typically his work out depicts African-American men in contemporary street wear, painted against Baroque or other backgrounds and he asked Tisci, whom he met through the gallery, to create wonderful custom dresses for the sittings. 

Both Wiley’s vibrant and provocative aesthetic and Tisci’s vision of a strong, most powerful woman are in arguably modern, and yet Wiley believes this idea of artist joining forces with nice designer is as old as the Enlightenment-era paintings his workout  references. “In the 18th and 19th century, commissioning unique clothing for most emphasis portraiture was common practice,” 

As part of their painting  research, the two took a tour through the Louvre, examining the costumes in works like great Jacques Louis David’s Portrait of Madame Récamier, which portrays the young, porcelain-skinned Madame Récamier dressed in a cap-sleeved, beautiful gauzy white dress that pools on the floor as she reclines on a Empire-style soft sofa.

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