Obama Portrait Artist Debuts New Artwork In Times Square

Kehinde Wiley debuted a modern twist to the art world of war-inspiration.

The artist with the magic strokes behind the Barack Obama portrait framed in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery has new work! "Rumors of War" made it's Times Square mark and is bringing a new face to the label of "warrior." A black man is dominating on top of a horse rocking a dreaded man bun, hoodie, and ripped skinny jeans.

It was, ironically, inspired by the "heroic equestrian statues of Confederate generals that line Monument Avenue in Richmond Virginia," according to Because of Them We Can. He shared with The New York Times:

“I’m a Black man walking those streets [and] I’m looking up at those things that give me a sense of dread and fear. I felt that there had to be some way to turn this ship around. Maybe I can’t do it as one person, but this is my way of intervening, of saying ‘Enough already.’”

While it's an exciting vision to see, New York will, unfortunately, not be its permanent home. "Rumors of War" will be transported to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in December. Alex Nyerges, director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, explained why it was vital to adopt the 27 feet high, 16 feet wide masterpiece.

"The oppression of African-Americans is still pervasive in our society. But if anyone is going to take on the mantle of trying to change the conversation and make things better for the present and the future, I can think of no better place to start.”

If you can't make your way to the east coast, check out the pics below!

 
 

Photo: Rachel Papo/The New York Times

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