Los Angeles-born artist Kehinde Wiley creates formal paintings of people of color, all street-cast, set against and within patterned backgrounds, which ultimately escape from the back into the foreground. His painting style resembles that of old masters like Titian and Ingres, but the state of his subjects (described as “heroic” by the Columbus Museum of Art), who are painted in their street clothes, retools the hierarchy of importance for a modern world. 2015 saw a retrospective of his work at the Brooklyn Museum. In 2018, Wiley unveiled his official portrait of former President Barack Obama, which hangs in the halls of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
Below are Kehinde Wiley’s favorite books, available to purchase as a set or individually.