How Does One Re Work History?

2351 WordsSep 21, 201410 Pages
How does one re-work history? Do they re-work the message around it or do they re-work culture that surrounds it. In this essay we will look at two artists that reshape and re contextualize historical works. They create a meaning that forms a new genealogy around the image, creating a new subject of discussion. Kehinde Wiley works with historical paintings. He re-shapes the imagery to re-work the influence historical works portray; a rich aristocratic power and influence. He re-works this by replacing the figures, with black youths in ghetto clothing .He has the youths reflect the pose of what would be a symbol of wealth and power. He re-works the history he wants to tell, and how much he wants to portray in his works . He photographs his subjects, and have them pose in the poses of the artists he draws inspiration from; Baroque Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, British artist Thomas Gainsborough, and Napoleon’s court painter Jacques-Louis David. There’s a reason he draws inspiration from these artists, “there is a reason for that” Says Wiley “ and that has to do with power” These poses are meant to evoke a conversation around art history. The subjects in the original paintings are white males or females of power or of some importance, paid for by the people who can afford. This was the height of luxury in the eighteen centaury. “Big flashy pictures of young African American men recast as kings, dandies, prophets and saints of European portraiture subvert the time warn

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