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Kehinde Wiley Juxtapoz Magazine Cover

Interview by Shaquille Heath

Kehinde Wiley discusses his artistic practice, current projects and upcoming exhibition at Roberts Projects opening this fall.

I specifically remember the moment I saw my first Kehinde Wiley work, strolling about the Seattle Art Museum when they exhibited A New Republic. I remember looking up at Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps, ready for the horseman to jump out of the canvas - and trample me – with both hooves and Timbs. I believe I stood in front of Judith and Holofernes for a good 15 minutes, ready to get on my knees and wash the feet of my newfound queen. Throughout the exhibit, feelings swirled around in my mind. Even today, when I stand before a Wiley work, words tend to escape my brain. I smell color. I see music. My skin tingles with goosebumps. Plainly, his work unlocked something from within, and for the first time, art made so much sense to me.