New York

Kehinde Wiley

Deitch Projects

“The master’s tools,” wrote the poet Audre Lorde, “will never dismantle the master’s house.” “Isn’t life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?” asked Andy Warhol. If the master’s tools are portraits of kings, saints, and ornamental women garbed in the ermine and satin of their class; and if the corridors of power link the master’s house to the museum, where grand white men are shown making decisions and alluring white women signify the things decided; and if those portraits are repeated with young black men from the Fulton Mall in downtown Brooklyn standing in the place of Giovanni Bellini’s St. Francis in the Desert, ca. 1480, or Anthony van Dyck’s Roi à la Chasse, 1635, or John Singer Sargent’s Countess of Rocksavage, 1922—if, that is, ermine has changed into Adidas, girls have changed into boys, white has changed into black, and the only things consistent are diamond

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