Kehinde Wiley on the Old Masters

“Status and class and social anxiety and perhaps social code are all released when you look at paintings of powerful individuals from the past. However, there’s something to be mined and gained by looking at them in a new way,” Kehinde Wiley has said of his signature portraits, inserting young black men into classic Old Masters themes. “What happens when you see black bodies that have not previously been celebrated on the walls of the most important institutions of the world?”