Artist Kehinde Wiley is doing things, and now also building things. |
In May, Wiley made his début in Dakar as a global patron of the arts. His Pan-African Xanadu, Black Rock Senegal, had opened three years earlier, with an all-night party where musicians performed and models walked a floating runway. Henry Taylor painted visitors; Alicia Keys tried on jewelry by the Senegalese designer Sarah Diouf. Wiley boasted in the Times that, while photographs of the Met Gala “got old after two days,” people were still posting pictures from his celebration weeks after the guests had gone home.
Soon he began welcoming trios of artists for one- to three-month stays, with plans to curate an exhibition of their work at Dak’Art, Africa’s longest-running biennial, in 2020. Instead, Wiley spent more than a year with a cohort of fellows in lockdown, sketching employees and captaining weekly fishing trips to pass the time. (At Art Basel, his fish fries have become an institution; Chaka Khan performed at the one he held this year.) The artist grew so attached to life in Senegal that only Naomi Campbell could force him out, with a summons to judge at Lagos Fashion Week. “ ‘Get your ass on a plane,’ ” Wiley recalled her saying. “So I got my ass on a plane.” | Read the FULL ARTICLE.