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Kehinde Wiley Turns Eye on Female Subjects

The New York-based contemporary artist found a fashion collaborator in Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci, who designed dresses for the models.

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley

Photo By Kwaku Alston

CLASSICAL COLLABO: New York-based contemporary artist Kehinde Wiley is best known for his neoclassical portraits of African-American men, among other subjects, in contemporary streetwear. His models’ clothes are typically their own, but for his soon to be unveiled portraits of African-American women — the artist’s first female series — he found a fashion collaborator in Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci, the artist’s dealer, Sean Kelly Gallery, told WWD. For the works, entitled “An Economy of Grace,” Tisci designed six dresses for the models, who Wiley cast on the street in New York and painted in poses inspired by portraits of 18th- and 19th-century society women. The works will be on display at the gallery starting with an opening reception on May 5.

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