Kehinde Wiley + Women = An Economy of Grace

Mary Litte, Later Lady Carr, 2012

Kehinde Wiley‘s paintings knock me out on the regular with their vibrant beauty. But the real magic lies in the way Wiley infuses new meaning into classic portrait styles by inserting contemporary African-American men (up to now) in their own contemporary clothing into these historical trappings. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find that Wiley’s latest exhibition, An Economy of Grace, featured women for the first time. Like his past works, he scouted his subjects on the streets of NYC, but unlike his past works, the subjects are not wearing their own clothes. For this exhibition, Wiley collaborated with Givenchy Creative Director Riccardo Tisci, who designed six unique gowns for the women to wear. The results are breathtaking.

Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, 2012

See the full exhibition in glorious real life (IGRL) at Sean Kelly Gallery in Chelsea until June 16th. You can also preview some more gorgeous shots at the gallery’s website or at Kehinde Wiley’s website.