Kehinde Wiley's Times Square Monument: That's No Robert E. Lee

By Reggie Ugwu

The sculpture, called “Rumors of War,” is Kehinde Wiley’s first work of public art and his first major piece since his portrait of President Obama.
He looks like a man lost in time, uprooted, with the horse he rode in on, from a previous century, perhaps, or was it a future one? In a riot of flashing neon signs and costumed avengers, populating a patch of Times Square on Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets, he can be seen looking regal and triumphant astride a rearing steed worthy of Napoleon, flanked between the modern colonial outposts of American Eagle Outfitters and Express. The new statue, a bronze sculpture on limestone titled “Rumors of War” and unveiled on Friday, is the first public work by the artist Kehinde Wiley. Mr. Wiley, 42, is best known for his aristocratic portraits of African-American men, including the one of President Obama that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. [More]
AThe figure astride the horse has dreadlocks, a hoodie and ripped jeans.
The statue will be in Times Square until Dec. 1, then will move to near the entrance of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
“Today we say yes to something that looks like us,” Mr. Wiley, 42, said at the unveiling.