Why does the image of an older man spending precious time talking to a younger man warm the hearts of many? I believe that it’s because we become witnesses to one of the most authentic moments in life-regeneration! This is where energy is transferred and power is given to one generation from another generation to make it his own and then pass it along. Without such a process we as a culture would be extinct. Imagine Hendricks and Wiley respectively as the older man and younger man and their works of art as a snapshot of that moment in time, where the power of style was transferred from one creative master to another creative genius in order to re-create and re-invent it as his own history. These Yale men may be different on various levels, yet it is apparent that they share a common link: to stylize the African-American and for Kehinde the African Diaspora. Style and pose are important; if not imperative factors that give both generations’ works such a rich voice.
A voice that echoes across generations yet makes no physical sound. The triumph and reverence is seen deep within the eyes of the people who are viewing the men and women posing. Posing, so that they may present or introduce the African-American to the world and to an academic art world in which they are underrepresented and so that the African Diaspora could assume a position of authority via Kehinde’s Renaissance & Baroque approach. Not only do these men have an eye for style, as seen in the use of fashion and portraiture and textile patterns in their works, Hendricks and Wiley are amazing colorists. These are my type of men and they have sat a young woman down and allowed their works to resonate within me; therefore, giving me power to take their history and re-create it and re-invent it into my own herstory.
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