Thursday, March 19, 2015

What the racist, homophobic Kehinde Wiley backlash is really about?

By Sarah Seltzer
Anthony of Padua, 2013. Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 in. (182.9 x 152.4 cm). Seattle Art Museum; gift of the Contemporary Collectors Forum, 2013.8.
NEW YORK---Kehinde Wiley’s retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum is New York’s must-see art show of the spring. Wiley is best known for painting young black and brown men, in their street clothes, styles that the likes of Bill O’Reilly and Joe Scarborough would surely scold. Yet it was inevitable, as with other easily comprehensible pieces of art that make a minority experience central — such as Selma, for instance — that there would ensue a backlash that went beyond the methods and context of the art, to attack the artist. This backlash came when the Village Voice ran a pan of the new exhibit by a white critic, Jessica Dawson, which trades in every homophobic, racist assumption in the book. [link]