Regardless of one's opinion on Kehinde Wiley's work, process, methods, etc. it is amazing that an African American artist has a solo retrospective in his lifetime in any museum. That alone is an achievement in the current art market. That being said there is a lot of criticism of Wiley's development of a kind of workshop approach to his production. Apparently a bulk of his making process is executed by artists employed by Wiley. This might seem like an affront to the individual artist trope propagated by our expectations of what and how artists work. If this is indeed how Wiley works, it should not be a reason for disdain of his work. Artists have employed other artists to complete works for centuries. In the West this workshop culture has existed probably since the 12th century. I think it is an interesting way to extend one's self and meet the demand of the art market. Commodification of work too has been a critique of Wiley's work as well as other successful artists. This practice too has existed in the West for a long time. It's become a sort of schema on which the arts are built. So again, this doesn't bother me. My take on Kehinde Wiley's retrospective is that it seems to repeat successful themes heavily. This is again, not necessarily a bad thing, but I wonder how Wiley's work will grow in the next 10 years. He seems to be branching out to video, sculpture and stained glass as new avenues for artmaking, but I think I'd love to see what evolution his painting practice can make and how he can incorporate his artists into his artmaking entanglement.
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Wandering, in general