Sean Kelly is delighted to announce Kehinde Wiley and Absolut Art’s exclusive new print edition as part of a charitable partnership to support Black Rock Senegal’s artist in residence program. Head of a Young Girl Veiled (2019) will be available exclusively through Absolut Art beginning November 2. All net proceeds from the signed edition of 30 prints, priced at $15,000 apiece, will benefit Black Rock as charitable contributions.
“I chose Head of a Young Girl Veiled especially for Black Rock because it speaks to the layered complexities of sight and knowledge, provoking inquiry by sitting at the intersection between the masculine and feminine, the historic and the present. It draws inspiration from a beautiful and terrible past and seeks to posit a new vocabulary for how we can all move forward as thinkers, artists, and global citizens,” says Kehinde Wiley.
Launched by Wiley earlier this year, Black Rock Senegal is a residency program that brings together international groups of visual artists, writers, and filmmakers to join the artist at his studio on the westernmost point of continental Africa. Black Rock seeks to support new artistic creation by promoting conversations and collaborations that are multigenerational, cross-cultural, and cross-disciplinary. Black Rock takes its physical location as a point of departure to incite change in the global discourse around Africa in the context of creative evolution.
The Absolut Art print proceeds will help support the residency, which provides accommodation, food, individual studio space, art supplies, local staff to aid in navigating Senegal’s capital, Dakar, and a language tutor to assist with English, French, and Wolof—the three primary languages of the program.
“We are honored to collaborate with Kehinde Wiley and Black Rock, whose mission to support the creative evolution of artists is shared by Absolut Art,” says Michelle Grey, Absolut Art Creative Director. “With this ongoing partnership, we hope to raise a significant amount of money for the program as well as provide a meaningful platform for Black Rock’s artists.”
Beyond raising essential funds for Black Rock, the exclusive Absolut Art print creates a rare opportunity to own an official signed Kehinde Wiley artwork at a pivotal moment in his career, just following the artist’s unveiling of his first monumental public sculpture in Times Square.
“We are proud to welcome Kehinde Wiley to the Absolut Art platform,” says Nahema Mehta, Absolut Art CEO. “Building an empowered and diverse community of artists and collectors is at the heart of Absolut Art. Every year we champion select philanthropic institutions that align with our vision and we’re thrilled to be supporting Black Rock Senegal.”
Known for his virtuosic portrayals of Diasporic Africans, including the official portrait of President Obama, the artist has diversified portraiture, updating its symbolic vocabulary to disrupt the cultural assumptions attached to skin color. His work is delicate yet forceful, both steeped in art history and critically of the moment.
About Kehinde Wiley
At the core of Kehinde Wiley’s practice is an analysis of the intersecting points between cultural and aesthetic values and existing historical narratives. In this charged moment, these discourses reveal how relations of power produce, sustain, and reinforce particular interpretations of transcultural exchanges and subject positions. In 2018 Wiley became the first African-American artist to paint an official U.S. Presidential portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Former U.S. President Barack Obama selected Wiley for this honor. Wiley has held solo exhibitions at Brooklyn Museum, Jewish Museum in New York, Columbus Museum of Art, and Studio Museum in Harlem. His works are included in the collections of numerous public institutions. Wiley is the Founder and President of Black Rock Senegal, a non-profit artist in residence program located in Dakar, Senegal. Wiley lives and works in New York, Dakar, and Beijing.
About Black Rock Senegal
Named for the volcanic rocks that blanket its shoreline, Black Rock is a residency program created by renowned artist Kehinde Wiley which seeks to incite change in the global discourse around West Africa in the context of creative evolution. The residency brings together international artists to live and work in Dakar, Senegal for 1-3 month stays. The Black Rock compound design was conceived by Senegalese architect Abib Djenne with interior collaboration between Wiley, Fatiya Djenne, and Aissa Dione. The complex includes a residence and studio space for Wiley along with three single-occupancy residency apartments with adjacent studio spaces. For more information, please visit blackrocksenegal.org and follow @blackrocksenegal on Instagram.
About Absolut Art
Founded with the mission of making art accessible and affordable, Absolut Art is a tightly curated, global art gallery that sells limited edition prints that ship within 48-hours. Absolut Art collaborates with emerging and established artists and prioritizes diversity. The direct-to-consumer model focuses attention on creating a quality experience for collectors and artists alike. The platform is an extension of Absolut’s thirty year history of working with artists like Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Louise Bourgeois. For more information, please visit www.absolutart.com.