Kehinde Wiley (b. 1977) will be awarded the U.S. State Department Medal of Arts. In a ceremony on Jan. 21, Secretary of State John Kerry will present the medal to Yale-educated Wiley who is know for his portaits of people with brown or black skin in heroic poses, representing saints, and oftentimes set against vibrant backgrounds.
The medal is given for “substantive commitment to the U.S. State Department’s cultural diplomacy outreach through the visual arts,” according to a press release from the artist's Los Angeles gallery Roberts & Tilton.
The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Va., announced last week the new acquisition of Wiley's monumental oil and enamel painting St. Andrew. The work will travel for Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, opening at the Brooklyn Museum in February and touring four other U.S. cities before returning to the Chrysler in Fall 2016.