TOWARDS A NEW WORLD PORTRAIT
by Ilka Scobie
“American black culture,” notes the artist Kehinde Wiley
, “has become globalized -- and is crazily popular.” Wiley should know, since his painting has taken him to Africa, Brazil, China, India and now Israel (among other places). His new solo exhibition at the Jewish Museum, “The World Stage: Israel,” presents more than a dozen of the artist’s meticulous, heroically scaled portraits of individual young men posed against exquisitely detailed, brightly colored decorative backgrounds. The brashly optimistic scope of Wiley’s project is particularly clear in the context of Israel, and the Jewish Museum.