Thursday, December 3, 2009

The King

Kehinde Wiley Michael Jackson

The fabulous artist Kehinde Wiley, known for his portraits of African and African-descent men that cite canonical art historical images, has truly outdone himself now: here is his posthumous portrait of Michael Jackson. The blog post below gives interesting information, as does the Art Basel edition of The Art Newspaper, link also below. From watching the Martin Bashir documentary, I learned that Jackson was quite interested in art history, particularly Renaissance, Baroque, and 19th Century Realist art, so it did not surprise me to read that both artists had discussed pictorial precedents for this masterpiece of 21st century royal portraiture. I often wonder why royalty doesn't avail themselves of great painters, for example the Spanish Royal family has few portraits on canvas.

The only good ones are by Hernan Cortes (yes, his real name) and there was a to-die-for campy society painter called Ricardo Macarron who depicted the family in a manner that I can only describe as painted as if your grandma's Coty powder puff had been dipped in oil and laid on in a thick impasto. Of course, we have photography and my favorite purveyor of official royal imagery: HOLA! which has its own section on this blog. (this will be a subject of an article if and when I get tenure and can "go wild" with my art history). Queen Elizabeth did have Lucien Freud paint her, so we can give them props for that brave act.

Ricardo Macarron King Juan Carlos I of Spain

Lucien Freud Queen Elizabeth II

Blog Post on painting:

Art Newspaper link:

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