Classical Paintings in a Black Light

Old Masters are so pre-19th Century. Brilliant artist Kehinde Wiley gives traditional paintings a fresh new look with his series, Black Light, transcending mere parody by addressing issues of cultural heritage and identity in a manner that’s both amusing and thought-provoking.

We took the liberty of placing Kehinde Wiley’s art in context by digging up, dusting off, and juxtaposing the originals side-by-side with his Black Light paintings. Take a look and see which ones you prefer.

 


Left: Kehinde Wiley, “After Sir Joshua Reynolds’ ‘Portrait of Doctor Samuel Johnson,’” published by powerHouse Books
Right: Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), “Portrait of Dr Samuel Johnson”

 


Left: Kehinde Wiley; Abiel McIntosh (left) Mark Shavers (right), “After Pontormo’s ‘Two Men with a Passage from Cicero’s “On Friendship,”‘” published by powerHouse Books
Right: Jacopo Pontormo (1494-1557), “Portrait of Two Friends

 


Left: Kehinde Wiley; Sharrod Hosten, “After Sir Anthony van Dyck’s ‘Le Roi à la Chasse,’” published by powerHouse Books
Right: Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), “Le Roi à la Chasse

 


Left: Kehinde Wiley; Dion “OJ” Bey (left) Wale Ajiboye (right), After Sir Anthony van Dyck’s “King Charles I and Henrietta Maria,” published by powerHouse Books
Right: Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), “King Charles I and Henrietta Maria

 


Left: Kehinde Wiley; Jerry Valdes, “After Titian’s (Tiziano Vecellio) ‘Penitent Mary Magdalene,’” published by powerHouse Books
Right: Titian (1488-1576), “Penitent Mary Magdalene

 


Left: Kehinde Wiley; Dion “OJ” Bey, “After Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ ‘The Virgin with the Host,’” published by powerHouse Books
Right: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), “The Virgin of the Host

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