Flora Obama Africanus



Wiley describes what he does as an “intervention.”

By and large,” he says, “most of the work that we see in the great museums throughout the world are populated with people who don’t happen to look like me. As a child, I grew up studying and worshiping those great works of Western European painting. But I also wanted to fulfill the goal of feeling a certain personal presence in that work.”

In other words, Wiley wanted to see himself in those grand heroic portraits. And as an artist, he sees an opportunity to take those centuries-old depictions of glory, and use them to make a statement that’s very much about the present.

At its best, what art does is, it points to who we as human beings and what we as human beings value. And if Black Lives Matter, they deserve to be in paintings.”

Does Wiley have visions of cutting off the heads of BEAUTIFUL WHITE WOMEN because they above all others put Wiley below them, they disgusted by the existence of a poor ugly gay black man?  Wiley has trouble approaching Beautiful Black Women to ask them if they would be his muse. ALL MEN FEAR REJECTION. Music and Art history books are filled with this fear from beginning to end. Wiley wants the world to only notice HIS FEAR. Most Creative Human Beings have empathy towards fellow Artists. Wiley has none.

Wiley LIES when he says he “worshipped” great white works. At the least, he was looking for a gimmick that would get him some notoriety. At best, he is a black graffiti artist, who take pride in painting over, and defacing, WHITE WORLD. What a bullshitter! They come in all colors.

Kehinde Wiley plagiarized the work of William Morris a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Morris was admired by Mary White Ovington, a co-founder of the NAACP. Morris is my hero. I call myself and my later sister, the world famous artist, Rosamond, New Pre-Raphaelites. I withhold this title from Mr. Wiley, because he has defaced other works of art, and promotes one race over another. I found one white woman in Wiley’s work, and her severed head is being held by an angry and violent black woman. Ovington and Morris, would be appalled. This goes against everything they worked for. The defile and deface another artist’s work, to utterly alter its meaning, is an Art Crime. I am looking for a way to sue Mr. Wiley for damages.


“Influenced by the ideas of William Morris, Ovington joined the Socialist Party in 1905, where she met people such as Daniel De Leon, Asa Philip Randolph, Floyd Dell, Max Eastman and Jack London, who argued that racial problems were as much a matter of class as of race. She wrote for radical journals and newspapers such as, The Masses, New York Evening Post, and The Call. She also worked with Ray Stannard Baker and influenced the content of his book, Following the Color Line (1908)”.

My kindred, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, encouraged her good friend, Michael Jackson, to take up art. He rendered Presidential images. One appears to be the door to the White House. The floral decoration is a match to the work of my later brother-in-law, Garth Benton, who did the murals at the Getty Villa.


For twenty years I worked hard to keep some white swing voters from voting the Republican ticket because they feel threatened by black radicals. Wiley grew up on food stamps that are being cut, along with other programs. Wiley claims ‘Black Lives Matter’ is a major influence. Is he willing to donate 50% of his earnings to food programs? Something went wrong when Obama was elected. Images of a black woman holding a severed head is not going to help any Democrat, and will hurt millions of poor whites Republicans in the Red States, who are caught up in Neo-Confederate imagery, and statues of famous white people. Will General Lee get the Black Face Treatment, that will sell more of William Morris’s creative designs?


When Obama got elected, I approached Kenny Reed with an idea about a Eugene Celebration of his Presidency. My ideas were used, and I was shoved aside. I got no credit in the video that was made. I formed the Bohemian Bank in order to get Obama, and black folks, integrated with Bohemianism in a economical way. That way was seen as The White Way. Trump just gave a trillion dollars to the White Ruled Military, and will have wealthy contractors rebuild our infrastructure. The artists chosen to do Michelle’s and Barack’s portraits, are black. What bullshit! This is more Dumb Duality…………White vs. Black Right vs. Wrong, Good vs. Bad. How many black people have War Stock and are invested in big contracting companies? Dacca children are being held hostage so Democrats will give money to build The Trump Wall. What has Obama done in his eight years?

The Artist, Kihinde Wiley, is into WHITE REPLACEMENT. Marilyn Reed told me Blacks are superior to Whites, and, they would have done all the wonderful things white people did, if, whites had not oppressed the Gifted Black Race.

I brought up the series Compton, and she got pissed.

“Aggressive black people rule Compton! Where’s the art galleries and symphony?”

Of course any real challenge to WHITE REPLACEMENT is……….RACIST! This goes for WOMAN REPLACEMENT which is also based upon being VICTIMIZED by the old grey hair white man who looks like Mr. Monopoly.

Come election day, Black Bohemian Lives Only Matter, will be finishing off the last of the Kesey Pranksters, for………….bragging rights!

How about a Black Rutger Hauer? I told Marilyn I work hard to compile an alternative White History, because WHITE EVANGELICALS are putting racists in office. They put Trump in office. How many broken bridges did Obama mend? Instead, we get two bad paintings for all the wrong reasons. There is not a hint, not a clue, that white voters put Obama in office.

What s going on in Wiley’s work, is ‘Gay Politics’. Wiley is not a beautiful black man. He wants to bed beautiful black men, but, they are not attracted to him. What if he was a FAMOUS ARTIST – with money and power? Wiley puts himself in place of rich and powerful white men who have made history to appear more attractive to black men without power and money, and, are unsure of their black culture.

Were these Compton-like gay-thugs immortalized before or after they made love with a world famous artist? Wiley could be saying…….Why wait for blacks to take over the world, when I can easily paint them – over the white world!

Why don’t I use Paintbox and put white faces on these thugs, who might wish they were white? I could give Obama a white face.  Michelle’s portrait looks like a Rosamond! Hmmmmmmmmm!

What I think what we got here is Rococo Gangster Graffiti. If you get caught spraying over another gangs graffiti – on their turf – they are going to cap your ass! Whitey is too stupid to see he’s been chumped.

“I Rococoed your swishy white ass!”

I will delve into this in my next post. Somebodies got to do it! I would love to get a recording of what Wiley really thinks, what he is saying behind the art world’s back,


Jon Presco




Boundary markers may be as simple as a gang name or symbol. Some may include a partial gang roster and denote gang affiliation. A classic example is His­panic gang graffiti. Typically, it will tell the reader the gang name, indicate a Northern or Southern California orienta­tion and have a claim of superiority over other gangs. It might contain the Roman numeral “13” in some form, which repre­sents the 13th letter of the alphabet-the letter “M.” Some of the younger gang­sters say it stands for marijuana.

Usually described as gay, Wiley explains that his sexuality is more complicated than that.
NYT: “’My sexuality is not black and white,’ he said. ‘I’m a gay man who has occasionally drifted. I am not bi. I’ve had perfectly pleasant romances with women, but they weren’t sustainable. My passion wasn’t there. I would always be looking at guys.’”

Growing up poor in Los Angeles, Wiley says he was afraid of the police and that his family got by on public assistance and the ingenuity of his mother, Freddie Mae Wiley.
NYT: “For most of his childhood, he said, the family subsisted on welfare checks and whatever spare change came in from his mother’s thrift shop. The store didn’t have a sign or a retail space, other than a patch of sidewalk in front of the house on West Jefferson Avenue. But everyone in the neighborhood thought of it as Freddie’s Store. Mr. Wiley recalls the mounds of merchandise: used books, windup Victrolas, tarnished gold-leaf picture frames, porcelain figurines of rosy-cheeked lovers. ‘It was like ‘Sanford and Son,’ he said.”

In the majority of the critiques of his work, nowhere is it discussed the blatant sexual and homoerotic overtones of Wiley’s images.  Looking at this work in books or on the internet is one thing, but in person, it’s so obvious!

A lot of art writers live on their own planet and see everything in terms art theory, historical comparison & analysis, in the tradition of other works.  Seldom have I read about someone looking at his art in terms of  contemporary pop culture (or those of you who are bigots and look down on homosexuality,  “not so popular culture).

Let’s be frank.  These men are gay!  Their poses are feminine.  They have arched eye brows and shinny lips.  These are “homothugs”, a term used to describe males, usually minorities, who adopt hip hop culture, style of dress, music etc. as a more idealized form of masculinity, to counter other stereotypes on gay culture.

So why write a blog to point out these things?  Well, because no one else did.  The art world looks at these images as extremely strong statements of race and identity.  The thing is they choose to look with limited vision.  Kehinde Wiley not only creates monumental paintings  of black men in power, but he also creates monumental paintings of gay men in power, and they are fabulous!

Until next time beautiful people

Yo brotha


Empire is an American musical drama television series created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong which debuted on January 7, 2015 on Fox. Although it is filmed in Chicago,[2][3] the show is set in New York. It centers on a fictional hip hop music and entertainment company, Empire Entertainment, and the drama among the members of the founders’ family as they fight for control of it. A hip-hop mogul must choose a successor among his three sons who are battling for control over his multi-million dollar company, while his ex-wife schemes to reclaim what is hers. The pilot was shown to be a success, garnering praise for Taraji P. Henson‘s portrayal of Cookie Lyon and the premiere receiving nearly 10 million viewers and the season finale with 17 million viewers.

On January 11, 2017, Fox renewed the series for a fourth season, consisting of eighteen episodes.[4] The season premiered on September 27, 2017, and crossed over with Star.[5]



In the works that followed, Mr. Wiley set out to replace the kings, princes and prophets of old master paintings with contemporary African-Americans, painted from life. These young men were often stopped on the street, asked if they wished to pose for a portrait, and invited to choose the masterwork they wished to be pictured in. Initially represented in standing portraits, they were then depicted on horseback, and, later, reclining or lying in repose, in the manner of saints or the dead Christ. Eventually, Mr. Wiley started portraying women as well as men, and working with media such as stained glass and sculpture.

WASHINGTON — With the unveiling here Monday at the National Portrait Gallery of the official presidential likenesses of Barack Obama and the former first lady, Michelle Obama, this city of myriad monuments gets a couple of new ones, each radiating, in its different way, gravitas (his) and glam (hers).

Ordinarily, the event would pass barely noticed in the worlds of politics and art. Yes, the Portrait Gallery, part of the Smithsonian Institution, owns the only readily accessible complete collection of presidential likenesses. But recently commissioned additions to the collection have been so undistinguished that the tradition of installing a new portrait after a leader has left office is now little more than ceremonial routine.

The present debut is strikingly different. Not only are the Obamas the first presidential couple claiming African descent to be enshrined in the collection. The painters they’ve picked to portray them — Kehinde Wiley, for Mr. Obama’s portrait; Amy Sherald, for Mrs. Obama — are African-American as well. Both artists have addressed the politics of race consistently in their past work, and both have done so in subtly savvy ways in these new commissions. Mr. Wiley depicts Mr. Obama not as a self-assured, standard-issue bureaucrat, but as an alert and troubled thinker. Ms. Sherald’s image of Mrs. Obama overemphasizes an element of couturial spectacle, but also projects a rock-solid cool.

It doesn’t take #BlackLivesMatter consciousness to see the significance of this racial lineup within the national story as told by the Portrait Gallery. Some of the earliest presidents represented — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson — were slaveholders; Mrs. Obama’s great-great grandparents were slaves. And today we’re seeing more and more evidence that the social gains of the civil rights, and Black Power, and Obama eras are, with a vengeance, being rolled back.

Kehinde Wiley on Painting the Powerless. And a President.


Kehinde Wiley, who was chosen to paint a portrait of Barack Obama for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington. Credit Tom Jamieson for The New York Times

LONDON — Early next year, a portrait of Barack Obama will go up on the walls of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, produced by an artist who was chosen by Mr. Obama himself in the closing months of his presidency.

The artist, Kehinde Wiley, is known for picturing young black people in stylized portraits that are deliberate throwbacks to earlier traditions of painting. His “Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps” (2005) shows a young man in hiking boots and camouflage riding a rearing stallion the way the French emperor does in an early-1800s painting by Jacques-Louis David. In the 2010 “Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II (Michael Jackson),” the pop superstar Jackson, in a cape and elaborate armor, mimics the monarch in the Rubens work it references.

So will Mr. Obama be depicted on horseback, wearing breeches and a plumed hat? Mr. Wiley said he had been sworn to secrecy by the National Portrait Gallery. “I wish I could say more,” he added in an interview at the Stephen Friedman Gallery here, where he has a new solo show. He indicated that he was hard at work on the portrait, saying there had been “so many different iterations” of it.

“I’m excited about it: It’s going to be amazing,” he said. “It’s going to be, like, boom!” he added, spreading his arms in jubilation.



Kehinde Wiley’s “Ship of Fools” (2017). Credit Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

He said he took very seriously the fact that Mr. Obama had faith in him to do it.

The London exhibition — featuring nine maritime paintings and a three-screen film — is a departure from the colorful portraiture that is now in the collections of virtually every major museum in the United States (and was featured in the TV series, “Empire”). The new paintings name-check works by J.M.W. Turner, Winslow Homer and Hieronymus Bosch in their titles. But the visual similarity with any forerunners is less overt than in the portraits that made Mr. Wiley famous.

Pictured on canvas in the maritime paintings are real-life Haitians whose names are also included in the works’ titles. They stand on the beach in brooding full-length portraits, or sail the stormy seas in old fishing vessels.


“Fishermen at Sea (Jean-Frantz Laguerre and Andielo Pierre)” (2017), by Mr. Wiley. Credit Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

Mr. Wiley’s art plays on different ways of seeing, and questions the representation of nonwhites (or lack thereof) in Western art. For instance, viewers unaccustomed to seeing black figures in seascapes might identify them as 21st-century migrants fleeing Africa, 19th-century slave-ship escapees or modern-day bathers and fishermen.

“Others might see maritime painting as a really wonderful way of looking at gentlemen’s leisure, or a certain aspect of Western ingenuity and know-how,” Mr. Wiley explained. Yet to him, the genre evokes an age of exploration that gave rise to sugar-cane fields in Jamaica, cotton fields in South Carolina and rice fields in Georgia, he said. His new works were an opportunity to demonstrate how “we all look at the same object in different ways.”


A still from “Narrenschiff,” (Ship of Fools), a three-channel digital film Credit Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

Stephen Friedman, his London gallerist, said Mr. Wiley “wanted to try something new” and approached him a year ago, asking how he would feel about that. The gallerist immediately said yes, and initially wondered “if people are going to be slow to react to this body of work.” Mr. Friedman said he had clients and institutions already interested in buying the seascapes, which were priced between $135,000 and $350,000.

Mr. Wiley was born in 1977 to a Nigerian father and an African-American mother who met when they were students at the University of California, Los Angeles. He and his five siblings were raised in South Central Los Angeles by his mother alone, who relied on welfare benefits and earnings from the family thrift shop.

At age 11, young Kehinde was enrolled in free weekend art classes, and was taken to museums including the Huntington Art Gallery, whose collection of British 18th- and 19th-century portraiture gave him an early familiarity with the genre. He became “keenly aware of the signifiers of power, the implications of the traditional portrait, which are about privilege, power, elitism,” said Eugenie Tsai, curator of the Brooklyn Museum’s 2015 midcareer survey of Mr. Wiley’s work. “He was looking at a world that he was not included in.”

Mr. Wiley studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, then got his M.F.A. from Yale University. Upon graduation, he became an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and soon experienced a visual epiphany.


“Fishermen Upon a Lee-shore, in Squally Weather (Zakary Antoine)” (2017), also by Mr. Wiley. Credit Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

He chanced upon a crumpled sheet one day that turned out to be a police mug shot of a young black male. “I’m just this kid walking through the streets of Harlem,” he said. “I see this piece of paper, and I’m looking at him, and he’s got these weird necklaces on. He’s got this really beautiful, sympathetic face. And I’m like, ‘This has to be a portrait!’”

The mug shot of the youth was the opposite of the portraits in museums that Mr. Wiley knew. “This was a picture of someone who had no agency, no control of how the picture was taken,” Ms. Tsai said. Here was someone who looked like Mr. Wiley and who “didn’t get to call the shots.”


“Fishermen Upon a Lee-Shore, in Squally Weather (Andielo Pierre)” (2017), by Mr. Wiley. Credit Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

In the works that followed, Mr. Wiley set out to replace the kings, princes and prophets of old master paintings with contemporary African-Americans, painted from life. These young men were often stopped on the street, asked if they wished to pose for a portrait, and invited to choose the masterwork they wished to be pictured in. Initially represented in standing portraits, they were then depicted on horseback, and, later, reclining or lying in repose, in the manner of saints or the dead Christ. Eventually, Mr. Wiley started portraying women as well as men, and working with media such as stained glass and sculpture.

Now, the artist — who keeps studios in Brooklyn, Beijing and Dakar, Senegal, to avoid the boredom of working in one place — is planning to take on another master. “Gauguin is one of my idols, even in the age of Weinstein,” said Mr. Wiley, referring to Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood producer. “Gauguin is creepy, let’s just face it. He goes off into the Pacific, and he’s looking at these young girls, and the colonial gaze: It’s just really problematic.”

Still, Mr. Wiley said he wanted to go to the Pacific and “use Gauguin as a glove or a contact lens or a sleeve through which I see and experience there.”

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His other great plan, he said, was to find the man in the mug shot and do a room of portraits of him today. He has all of his details from the original police document, and could locate him easily, he said, but he had long had ethical qualms.

“I think it would make an extraordinary body of work,” he said. “I just hope that people would allow for it to be what it is: it’s wonder, it’s chance, it’s mystery.”

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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